‘Wouldn't have been possible without …’: Indian Navy veterans on death row in Qatar say upon landing in Delhi
Indian Navy veterans who were sentenced to death in Qatar for espionage have returned to India. They thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his intervention and the government's efforts in securing their release.
Indian Navy veterans, who has been put on death row by Qatar authorities on charges of espionage, have returned to India, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) confirmed. The eight former Indian Navy officials were condemned to death in October, had been accused of spying for Israel.
One of the Navy veterans who returned from Qatar said, "We are very happy that we are back in India, safely. Definitely, we would like to thank PM Modi, as this was only possible because of his personal intervention..."
"It wouldn't have been possible for us to stand here without the intervention of PM Modi. And it also happened due to the continuous efforts of the Government of India." said another.
"We waited almost for 18 months to be back in India. We are extremely grateful to the PM. It wouldn't have been possible without his personal intervention and his equation with Qatar. We are grateful to the Government of India from the bottom of our hearts for every effort that has been made and this day won't have been possible without those efforts." said a third Indian Navy veteran.
In October, India said it was "shocked" after a Qatari court had sentenced them to death, but the sentence was reduced in December.
"The Government of India welcomes the release of eight Indian nationals working for the Dahra Global company who were detained in Qatar," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
"Seven out of the eight of them have returned to India," it added, thanking Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani for the decision "to enable the release and homecoming" of the detainees.
The eight Indian nationals, who were working on a submarine project with a private company for the Qatari authorities, were arrested in 2022.
The eight men were employees of Al Dahra, a Gulf-based company that offers "complete support solutions" to the aerospace, security and defence sectors, according to its website.
More than 800,000 Indian citizens live and work in Qatar, which is also a significant provider of natural gas for India.
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