Qatar Sentences 8 Ex-Indian Sailors to Death: Indian Govt Seeks Legal Remedies

In a startling turn of events, a court in Qatar has pronounced the death penalty for eight former Indian mariners. These individuals have been incarcerated in various Qatari prisons for over a year, making this development all the more concerning. According to a report published by Hindustan Times, the Indian government has expressed its profound surprise in response to this verdict. In light of this unexpected turn of events, the Indian government is actively exploring legal avenues to secure their release.

A statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs emphasizes the need for further details regarding the verdict, signaling the Indian government’s determination to engage in a thorough examination of the case. The swift response and commitment of the Indian government to protect the rights and welfare of its citizens, even when they are abroad, are evident in its proactive stance to address this pressing matter.

Qatari Government Withholds Charges Against Eight Indian Mariners Sentenced to Death

In a perplexing turn of events, the Qatari government has refrained from disclosing the specific charges levied against the eight Indian nationals who formerly served in the Navy. These individuals have been condemned to face the ultimate penalty of death, a verdict that has stirred international concern and scrutiny. The names of these eight former Navy officers, who are now facing this dire situation in Qatar, are as follows: Captain Navtej Singh Gill, Captain Saurabh Vashishth, Captain Birendra Kumar Verma, Commander Purnendu Tiwari, Commander Sugnakar Pakala, Commander Sanjiv Gupta, Commander Amit Nagpal, and Sailor Ragesh.

Former Indian Navy officer Purnendu Tiwari has been arrested in Qatar.

Delayed Notification of Arrest and Limited Consular Access for Indian Navy Officers Detained in Qatar

The State Security Bureau of Qatar’s intelligence agency apprehended eight former Indian Navy officers on the 30th of August, 2022. However, it was not until mid-September that the Indian embassy was officially informed about their arrest, marking a significant delay in notifying the concerned parties.

Regrettably, it took until the 30th of September for these detained individuals to have the opportunity to speak with their family members via telephone for a brief period. The provision of consular access, a fundamental right of individuals detained in foreign countries, was only granted a month after their arrest, on the 3rd of October. Furthermore, it was during this time that an official from the Indian Embassy was permitted to meet with the detainees.

Subsequently, these individuals were granted the right to contact their family members on a weekly basis. A second consular access was eventually granted in December, marking an essential step towards ensuring their well-being and rights in accordance with established international protocols.

Former Indian Navy Officers Employed by Dahra Global Technologies & Consultancy in Qatar

Eight former Indian naval officers, who had been working for a Qatari naval training company, were employed by Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy, a private entity in Qatar. Dahra Global Technologies & Consultancy is primarily engaged in providing defense-related services. The organization’s Chief, Khamis Al Ajmi, is a retired squadron leader from the Oman Air Force and had also been detained alongside the eight Indian nationals. Notably, Mr. Al Ajmi was released from custody in November.

Dahra Global Technologies & Consultancy has been actively involved in providing training and other services to the Qatar Navy (QENF). The company specializes in the operation, maintenance, and repair of defense equipment, underpinning its significance in the realm of defense services.

Previously, comprehensive information about the company’s senior officers and their respective positions was available on the company’s website. However, following the arrest of the eight Indian nationals, the original website of Dahra Global Technologies & Consultancy has ceased to exist.

Subsequently, a new website has emerged under the name “Dahra Global.” Notably, this revised website no longer establishes any connection between QENF and the company, nor does it make any reference to former Navy officers holding leadership roles within the organization.

Imprisoned Commander Purnendu Honored with Indian Tourist Award in Qatar

Commander Purnendu Tiwari, who is currently detained in Qatar, formerly held the position of Managing Director at the Dahra Company. Notably, in the year 2019, he was honored with the prestigious Tourist Indian Honor. This award was presented to him in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the promotion of bilateral relations between India and Qatar.

It is noteworthy that Commander Purnendu Tiwari holds the distinction of being the sole recipient of this award from the armed forces. During this recognition, he received a warm welcome from the then Indian Ambassador to Doha, P. Kumaran, as well as the former President of the Qatar Defense Forces International Military Corporation.

In December 2022, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in Parliament that the release of ex-navals was a sensitive issue.

Charges Against Eight Indians Detained in Qatar Remain Undisclosed Amid Espionage Concerns

The Qatari government has yet to officially disclose the charges against the eight Indian nationals, sparking concerns that they may be facing espionage-related allegations. These individuals have been detained, and some reports suggest that they have been placed in solitary confinement, further heightening apprehensions regarding their involvement in a security-related offense.

When questioned about the allegations surrounding the detainment, Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, expressed that inquiries regarding the charges should be directed to the Qatari authorities. The lack of transparency surrounding the charges has given rise to international concerns and underscores the complexity of the situation.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, addressing the issue in December 2022, acknowledged the sensitivity of the matter and affirmed that securing the release of the former Navy officers is a top priority for the Indian government. These developments highlight the critical importance of diplomatic efforts and international cooperation to address this intricate and pressing situation and to safeguard the rights and well-being of the detained individuals.

Niyati Rao

Niyati Rao is a seasoned writer and avid consumer who specializes in crafting informative and engaging articles and product reviews. With a passion for research and a knack for finding the best deals, Niyati enjoys helping readers make informed decisions about their purchases.