Today, lamps of happiness are being lit in those houses where there was a mournful silence till yesterday. The release and return home of eight Indians jailed in Qatar is no less than a miracle. This is not just a diplomatic victory for India, it is also a guarantee that now India and its citizens can neither be imprisoned nor punished by being implicated in a conspiracy in any way. Qatar’s court had sentenced death to 8 Indian citizens. However, later the Qatar government reduced the death sentence to life imprisonment. Regarding the incident, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself continuously monitored all the developments in the entire matter and never backed down from any initiative to ensure the return of Indians. Speaking to the media, Kwatra said that PM Modi will visit Qatar’s capital Doha on Wednesday after the conclusion of his two-day visit to the UAE, but indicated that the visit was planned much earlier.
Foreign Secretary said this
Without giving details, the Foreign Secretary said India will continue to work with the Government of Qatar to ensure the early return of the eighth Indian. The Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement in the morning that India appreciates the decision of Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hammad Al-Thani to facilitate the release of the Indians and their return to their home country. It is believed that these former Navy personnel were accused of espionage. However, neither the Qatari administration nor the Indian authorities made public what the allegations were against these people. The Ministry of External Affairs said that the Government of India welcomes the release of eight Indian citizens working for Dahra Global Company detained in Qatar.
Seven out of eight Indians returned home
The ministry said in a brief statement that seven of the eight Indians released have returned to India. We commend the decision of the Emir of Qatar to facilitate the release and repatriation of these citizens. These eight people include Captain (retd) Navtej Gill and Saurabh Vashishtha, Commander (retd) Purnendu Tiwari, Amit Nagpal, SK Gupta, BK Verma and Sugunakar Pakala and Sailor (retd) Ragesh. People familiar with the incident said that Commander Tiwari could not return due to some pending paperwork. The former Navy personnel were sentenced to death by a Qatari court on October 26.
was accused of espionage
The Gulf country’s appellate court had commuted the death penalty on December 28 and sentenced the former naval personnel to prison terms varying from three years to 25 years. The appellate court had also given him 60 days to appeal against the jail sentence. Indian nationals working with private company Al Dahra were arrested in August 2022 in an alleged case of espionage. In December last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hammad Al-Thani on the sidelines of the ‘COP 28’ summit in Dubai and discussed the welfare of the Indian community in Qatar.
Ajit Doval also played an important role in negotiations and release.
It is believed that National Security Advisor Ajit Doval played a key role in negotiations with Qatari authorities to secure the release of the Indian nationals. On March 25 last year, charges were filed against eight Indian Navy personnel and they were tried under Qatari law. In May last year, Al-Dahra Global closed its operations in Doha and all the people working there (mainly Indians) returned to the country. Quatra said on Monday, “After completing his UAE visit on February 14, the Prime Minister will visit Doha, Qatar on the afternoon of February 14. During the visit, the Prime Minister will hold bilateral talks with the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hammad and other dignitaries. Will do. The Foreign Secretary said that India is grateful to Qatar for the return of Indians.
The happy faces of Indians after returning home
Kwatra said that we are satisfied with his return. We appreciate the decision of the Government of Qatar and the Emir to release him. He said that we are happy to get back seven of them Indian citizens. The eighth Indian national has also been released and we will continue to work with the Government of Qatar to see how quickly his return to India is possible. Kwatra said that the Prime Minister himself has personally continuously monitored all the developments in this matter and has never shied away from any initiative to ensure the return of Indian citizens home. When asked whether the Emir of Qatar had granted royal pardon to Indians, the Foreign Secretary declined to comment.
He said that we can talk about different terminology etc. Be it release or forgiveness. But I think we should see the facts for what they are. Seven out of eight Indian citizens in the Al Dahra case have returned to their homes in India. Kwatra said that we are satisfied with this and appreciate the goodwill shown by the Emir of Qatar for the release. The Indian citizen reached Delhi airport at around 2:35 am last night by a private airline flight. People familiar with the matter said their families were informed after they boarded the flight from Qatar.
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