'We Are Free Because Of PM Modi': Navy Veterans Return From Qatar To 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' Chants

Amid desperate pleas by the anxious kin of the Navy veterans to secure their release and safe passage back to their homeland, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had assured that it would mobilise all diplomatic channels and arrange legal assistance to bring them back.
Navy veterans released by Qatar

Seven of the eight former Navy officers arrived this morning.

Setting foot on Indian soil after several agonising months of captivity in Qatar, the seven Indian navy veterans who were sentenced to death on 'espionage' charges, praised the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and attributed their release to relentless diplomatic efforts at his behest.
The eight Navy veterans were sentenced to death on 'espionage' charges, but the sentence was later commuted to an extended prison term following sustained diplomatic interventions and legal assistance from New Delhi.
Seven of the eight former Navy officers arrived this morning. Soon after their arrival, they raised chants of 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' and thanked the government for setting them free. A Navy veteran, who is left back in Qatar, is awaiting the completion of paper work and will soon arrive in India, officials said.
"I feel relieved and delighted to finally be back home safe and sound. I wish to thank Prime Minister Modi as this wouldn't have been possible had it not been for his personal intervention to secure our release. I also wish to express my gratitude to Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar," said one of them, according to news agency ANI.
Wearing a relieving smile and a calm demeanour, another released former naval officer told ANI, "Without the intervention of PM Modi, we would not have walked free. We wouldn't be standing before you today had it not been for his untiring efforts and interventions at the highest levels to get us freedom."
Another freed navy veteran also came out in praise of the Centre's intervention in securing their release. "We, as well as our anxious family members back home, had been waiting for this day for a long time. It all worked out because of PM Modi and his personal intervention in the matter. He took up our case with the highest levels of the Qatari government and eventually secured our release. I don't have enough words to express my gratitude to him and the Emir of Qatar."
"We are very happy to be back and it wouldn't have been possible had the honourable Prime Minister not taken personal interest in the matter. I also thank the Qatar Emir for his personal involvement in the matter," another former Navy officer told ANI.
"We waited almost 18 months to be back home to our loved ones in India. We are extremely grateful to PM Modi for getting us back. We wouldn't have seen this day without the joint efforts of PM Modi and the Emir of Qatar. The personal equations that the two leaders share also helped in our release," another Navy veteran told ANI after landing in Delhi.
The news of their arrival was shared by Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) this morning.
"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," the MEA said in a release.
The eight Indian nationals were imprisoned in Qatar in October 2022 on charges of spying on a submarine programme. They were sentenced to death by a Qatar court on charges that have not yet been made public officially.
The Qatari Court later commuted the death penalty to prison sentence.
Amid desperate pleas by the anxious kin of the Navy veterans to secure their release and safe passage back to their homeland, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had assured that it would mobilise all diplomatic channels and arrange legal assistance to bring them back.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on the sidelines of the COP28 summit in Dubai and discussed bilateral partnership and the "well-being of the Indian community" living in Qatar.
End of Article
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