S Jaishankar Meets Families of Qatar-Imprisoned Nationals, Vows Action
On Monday, India’s External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar, held a meeting with the relatives of eight Indian citizens who received a death sentence from a Qatari court. During the meeting, he assured them that the government gives the case the utmost priority.
The eight Indians were arrested on charges of alleged espionage and subsequently sentenced to death by a Qatari court on October 26. India reacted with shock to this ruling and pledged to explore all available legal options to address this distressing situation. Minister Jaishankar, during his meeting with the families, assured them of the government’s dedication to securing the release of the incarcerated Indians.
“Met this morning with the families of the 8 Indians detained in Qatar. Stressed that the Government attaches the highest importance to the case. Fully share the concerns and pain of the families,” said Minister Jaishankar.
He further underlined the government’s commitment to making every possible effort to secure the release of the detained individuals and expressed the intention to “coordinate closely with the families in that regard.”
The eight Indian nationals, who were employed by Doha-based Dahra Global, were taken into custody in August 2022. The specific charges against them have not been disclosed publicly by Qatari authorities. However, unofficial sources suggest that these individuals had been working in their private capacity with Dahra Global, overseeing the induction of Italian small stealth submarines U2I2.
According to a report in the Financial Times, the detainees have been charged with spying for Israel. Despite these allegations, there has been no official confirmation of the charges from the Indian side.
The individuals arrested have been identified as Captain Navtej Singh Gill, Captain Birendra Kumar Verma, Captain Saurabh Vasisht, Commander Amit Nagpal, Commander Purnendu Tiwari, Commander Sugunakar Pakala, Commander Sanjeev Gupta, and Sailor Ragesh.
In response to the Qatari court’s decision, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had issued a statement, declaring the case to be of “high importance” and asserting that it was exploring all available legal options. The MEA further promised to “extend all consular and legal assistance” to the detained Indians.
The situation remains tense as the Indian government, in collaboration with the families of the incarcerated individuals, continues to make “significant efforts” to secure their release and bring an end to this distressing ordeal. This is a matter of utmost concern to us as Indians, and we hope for a swift resolution and the safe return of our fellow countrymen.