The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said seven of them returned to India in the early hours of Monday.
In an exclusive interview with Times Now, Mrs. Suman Verma, the wife of Navy Veteran Captain Birendra Kumar Verma, shared her sentiments on the recent release of eight Navy veterans who were detained in a Qatar jail since October 2022. Mrs. Verma expressed profound gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Minister of External Affairs (MEA) S Jaishankar, and Ambassador to Qatar Vipul for their concerted efforts in securing the release of the veterans.
Amidst the joy of their loved ones returning home, Mrs. Verma emphatically stated, "We are very happy, we are extremely grateful to PM Narendra Modi, MEA S Jaishankar, and Ambassador Vipul for all the efforts. I am writing in all my mails that 'Modi hai to Mumkin hai'."
Reflecting on the challenges of having family members incarcerated in a foreign jail, Mrs. Verma remarked, "We belong to the services. We are highly educated people and we understood the process and we dealt with it in the way educated and sensible people deal with it. I want to thank once again Mr. Modi for his intervention, Mr. Jaishankar, and Ambassador Vipul for all the support we got."
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced on Monday the successful release of eight Indian Navy veterans who were initially sentenced to death in Qatar. Through diplomatic interventions led by New Delhi, the capital punishment was later commuted to prolonged prison terms.
Expressing gratitude for the release of these individuals employed by Dahra Global in Qatar, the Indian government welcomed the return of seven out of the eight nationals to India. The MEA extended appreciation to the Amir of the State of Qatar for facilitating the release and homecoming of the Navy veterans.
Amidst fervent appeals from the families of the detained Navy veterans, the MEA had assured the utilization of all diplomatic channels and provision of legal assistance. As of Monday, seven of the ex-Navy officers have already returned to India, according to an official statement from the MEA.
"The Government of India welcomes the release of eight Indian nationals working for the Dahra Global company who were detained in Qatar. Seven out of the eight of them have returned to India. We appreciate the decision by the Amir of the State of Qatar to enable the release and home-coming of these nationals," stated the Indian government, acknowledging the positive outcome.
The eight Indian nationals had been held in Qatar since October 2022, facing accusations of spying on a submarine program. Initially sentenced to death on undisclosed charges, the Qatari Court later commuted the punishment to jail terms.
The MEA confirmed its anticipation of the detailed judgment in the case, emphasizing close coordination with the legal team in Qatar. The Ministry reiterated its commitment to ongoing support for the affected individuals, ensuring consular and legal assistance, and pledging to pursue the matter with Qatari authorities.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed bilateral relations and the well-being of the Indian community in Qatar during a meeting with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani at the COP28 summit in Dubai.
The newly appointed spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs highlighted the temporal significance, noting a 60-day appeal window in the Court of Cassation, Qatar's highest court. The MEA's legal team possesses the confidential court order detailing the commutation of death sentences to imprisonment, with varying durations for each individual. The spokesperson also highlighted the recent positive discussions on overall bilateral relations between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Emir of Qatar.