In October last year, the Middle Eastern country of Qatar executed eight former Indian Navy officers for spying for Israel. The country commuted their sentences late last year. However, Qatar has finally released the former members of the Indian Navy in a massive diplomatic effort.
Indian media NDTV reported this information in a report on Monday (February 12).
Seven of these eight have already returned to the country, the media reported. They were imprisoned in Qatar prison for 18 months.
In this regard, the Ministry of External Affairs of India said, “The Government of India welcomes the return of eight Indians imprisoned in Qatar. They worked for Dahra Global Company. Seven of the eight have already returned to India. The decision to release these Indians was taken by the Emir of Qatar. We welcome that.”
While working for Dahra Global, these Indian Navy officers allegedly smuggled classified information to Israel. They were then sentenced to death.
The former naval officers who were executed and eventually freed are — Captain Navtej Singh Gill, Captain Sourav Vashisht, Commander Purnendu Tiwari, Captain Virendra Kumar Verma, Commander Sugunakar Pakala, Commander Sanjeev Gupta, Commander Amit Nagpal and Seaman Ragesh. They were arrested in August 2022 and have been in jail ever since.
These Indian Navy officers used to work for the Qatari Navy through this private company named Dehra Global. Their task was to train Qatari Navy personnel on Italian U212 submarines.
A Qatari court sentenced them to death in October 2023. At that time, India said that they were “surprised” by this verdict. After that, the country started diplomatic efforts to get rid of these officials who were sentenced to death. In view of this, in December last year, the death sentence was suspended and another sentence was given to them.
One of the freed said that they were released due to the personal intervention of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. For that they are all grateful to Modi.