India's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday it was deeply shocked over a Qatari court's verdict of handing down death sentence to eight ex-Indian Navy officials. The MEA also stated that it will up the verdict with Qatari authorities.
The Court of First Instance of Qatar gave the judgment on Thursday potentially setting off a diplomatic row between New Delhi and Doha. The arrested Indians are Captain Navtej Singh Gill, Captain Saurabh Vasisht, Commander Purenendu Tiwari, Captain Birendra Kumar Verma, Commander Sugunakar Pakala, Commander Sanjeev Gupta, Commander Amit Nagpal and Sailor Ragesh. They had been working at Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services, a security company owned by an Omani national.
'Will take up the verdict with Qatari authorities'
"We are deeply shocked by the verdict of death penalty and are awaiting the detailed judgement. We are in touch with the family members and the legal team, and we are exploring all legal options," the MEA said in a statement.
"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," the ministry further state.
Arrests made in 2022
The Qatari intelligence service officials in Doha arrested the Indian Navy veterans in August 2022 without properly informing of the charges against them. They were consequently put in solitary confinement.
At the time, the MEA said that immediate release and repatriation of the arrested Indians was a matter of high priority for the authorities. However, in April this years, the ministry said New Delhi will not “interfere” in the legal process of Qatar.
Meetu Bhargava, sister of one of the arrested Indian Navy veterans, had appealed to the Indian government for assistance.