February 13, 2024
NEW DELHI – The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Monday credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the safe return of Navy veterans who were awarded death sentence in Qatar and announced his visit to the Doha on February 14.
“We are happy to have seven of those Indian nationals back. The eighth Indian national has also been released and we continue to work with the Qatar government to see how quickly his return to India would be possible,” the MEA said.
“The prime minister has himself personally constantly supervised all the developments in this case and has never shied away from any initiatives that would ensure the return of the Indian nationals back to home,” it added.
The prime minister will travel to Qatari capital Doha after completing his UAE visit. The PM will hold bilateral talks with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani during the visit.
“After completing his visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the prime minister will travel to Doha, Qatar on February 14 afternoon,” Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra announced at a media briefing soon after the release of Navy veterans.
Earlier today, eight former Indian Navy personnel, who had been serving imprisonment in Qatar since August 2022 on undeclared charges, were released by the Gulf nation with all but one returning home.
The Navy veterans were given death sentences by Qatar’s Court of First Instance on October 26 last year.
The Court of Appeal in the Gulf nation on December 28 last commuted the capital punishment and sentenced them to jail terms for varying durations.
The Indian nationals, who worked with the private company Al Dahra, were arrested in August 2022 in the alleged case of espionage.