8 Indian Navy Veterans Receive Death Sentences in Qatar, India Appeals the Verdict

Indian Navy personnel at South Block in New Delhi | ANI Photo/Shrikant Singh

Eight former Indian Navy personnel in Qatar have received the death penalty, a decision that has been described as "shocking" by the Indian foreign ministry. They were employed by Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services, a private company offering training to Qatar's armed forces. Some of them were working on a highly sensitive project involving Italian technology-based midget submarines with stealth capabilities and have been accused of spying.

The men have been in jail since August 2022. Granted consular access to them, New Delhi has been working to secure their release. The men went to trial in March.

Their bail pleas were rejected numerous times and their detention extended by Qatari authorities. Today, the Court of First Instance of Qatar passed a judgment.

Those sentenced are Capt Navtej Singh Gill, Capt Birendra Kumar Verma, Capt Saurabh Vasisht, Cdr Amit Nagpal, Cdr Purnendu Tiwari, Cdr Sugunakar Pakala, Cdr Sanjeev Gupta and Sailor Ragesh.

"We are deeply shocked by the verdict of death penalty and are awaiting the detailed judgement. We are in touch with the family members and the legal team, and we are exploring all legal options," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

"We attach high importance to this case, and have been following it closely. We will continue to extend all consular and legal assistance. We will also take up the verdict with Qatari authorities," the ministry statement read.

Meetu Bhargava, sister of one the former officers detained, had sought help from the government to bring her brother back.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, on June 8, she had appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene.

"These Ex Navy officers are the pride of the nation & again I request our Hon'ble Prime Minister with folded hands that it is high time that they all are brought back to India immediately without any further delay," read her post, tagged to PM Modi and Union ministers Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh.
Story written by Shaurya
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