The Government of India has expressed deep concern and shock over the death sentence handed down to eight Indians by a Qatari Court.
These eight Indians, all veterans and decorated officers were working with a private company in Qatar and were allegedly arrested in August 2022 over allegations of espionage, though the charges could not be confirmed yet.
The Ministry of External Affairs has said that it attaches high importance to this case and is taking up the verdict with the Qatari authorities, as per Reuters.
Media reports say that neither the Indian government nor the Qatari authorities have made the charges public, due to the confidential nature of the proceedings and both have denied making comments at this stage.
“We are deeply shocked by the verdict and are awaiting the detailed judgement. We are in touch with the family members and legal team and are exploring legal action. We attach high importance to this case and have been following it closely. We will continue to extend all consular and legal assistance. We will also take up the verdict with Qatari authorities.” – Ministry of External Affairs statement
Reports say that the eight men, which included decorated officers to have commanced Indian warships, were said to be working for a private firm in Qatar specilaising in providing training related services to personnel of the armed forces in Qatar. Media reports also say that these men were working on a highly sensitive projects on midget submarines with stealth characteristics.
The arrested men had been provided consular access and the GoI has been working on their release after the men went to trial in March 2023. Their bail pleas have been rejected multiple times and their detention in prison was extended. The Court of First Instance of Qatar passed its judgement today.