Wednesday, February 21

Government Is Working With Qatar For The Return Of Eighth Navy Veteran: MEA Spokesperson

Edited by Fathimathu Shana

After the release of the eight Navy veterans by the Qatar government, Indian government said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi “constantly supervised” efforts to bring the veterans back home. While speaking to the reporters, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwarta said that the government “deeply appreciate the decision of Qatar’s government and the Emir to release them”.

Seven of the released veterans reached India this morning. Kwarta said the eighth Navy veteran has also been released and the government is working with the Qatari government for the quick return of him. He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has himself personally supervised all the developments in the case.

Marking a diplomatic win for India, Qatar released Indian Navy personnel who were detained over charges of espionage and was awarded with death penalty.

After reaching India, the veterans thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi as they said, “this wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for his personal intervention to secure our release”. Upon arriving at the Delhi airport, they chanted “Bharath Mata Ki Jai”. Another veteran said that they are extremely grateful to PM Modi in aiding them to be back home as they have waited 18 months.

The veterans are 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 arrested on August 2022, over the charges of espionage. In October last year, Qatar awarded them with death sentence. In November, India moved the Court of Appeal in Qatar against the death sentence.

PM Modi will meet the Emir of Qatar, Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani on February 14, said Kwarta. He also noted that the bilateral relationship between India and Qatar that has been growing steadily includes span of political ties, trade and investment linkage, and ties in the filed of culture and security.