S. Jaishankar Meets Families of 8 Indians Sentenced to Death in Qatar

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, met with the families of eight Indian nationals facing death penalties in Qatar. He emphasized the Indian government’s high priority for their case and expressed solidarity with the families. These individuals, former Indian Navy personnel, received capital punishment from a Qatari court on charges of alleged espionage for Israel. They were arrested by the Qatari intelligence agency in August 2022, but the specific charges have not been officially disclosed by either New Delhi or Doha.

Jaishankar’s statement echoes the Indian External Affairs Ministry’s commitment to providing consular and legal assistance to the detained Indians and engaging with Qatari authorities regarding the verdict. The ministry expressed shock at the death penalty verdict and mentioned that they are exploring legal options. However, due to the confidential nature of the proceedings, further comments have been withheld.

The eight individuals have the option to appeal their death sentences, according to sources. Both Indian and Qatari foreign ministries have refrained from commenting on these sources’ claims. There has been no immediate response from the Israeli Prime Minister’s office, responsible for overseeing Israel’s intelligence services.

The espionage allegations against the Navy veterans are related to an Israeli submarine program. Qatari authorities have claimed to possess electronic evidence concerning the matter.

The detained individuals include 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. They were apprehended by the Qatari intelligence agency in Doha on August 30, 2022, and their bail pleas were repeatedly dismissed by Qatari authorities.

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