Jaishankar meets families of 8 ex-Navy personnel facing death sentence in Qatar

External affairs minister S Jaishankar on Monday met with the families of the eight Indians detained in Qatar and stressed that the government is exploring every option to ensure their release and return.

“Met this morning with the families of the 8 Indians detained in Qatar. Stressed that Government attaches the highest importance to the case. Fully share the concerns and pain of the families,” the Union minister said in a post on social media site X.

“Underlined that Government will continue to make all efforts to secure their release. Will coordinate closely with the families in that regard,” he further added.

Last week, a Qatari court sentenced to death eight former Indian Navy personnel. The Indian nationals, who were employed with Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services, were taken into custody in August 2022 in an alleged case of espionage. However, the charges against them were not made public by Qatari authorities.

Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services is a private firm that provides training to Qatar’s armed forces. The Indians facing death row were involved with advising the Qatari government on the acquisition of submarines.

Qatari authorities provided New Delhi consular access to the eight Indian nationals during their trial, according to a separate report.

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 are the Indians who are facing death row in Qatar. These retired personnel have also commanded major Indian warships.

Indian authorities were expecting another judgement this month. The seventh hearing in the case took place on October 3. The Indian envoy to Qatar met all of them on October 1.