Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi revealed on Thursday that PM Narendra Modi spoke with Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad in Dubai about the death sentence given to the eight former Navy personnel.
PM Modi met with the Emir of Qatar on the sidelines of the COP28 summit in Dubai last week were they discussed bilateral partnership and the well-being of the Indian community in the oil-rich country.
India’s ambassador in Qatar got consular access to meet the prisoners on December 3 after Modi's meeting with Hamad, confirmed Bagchi in a media briefing.
"You would have seen Prime Minister Modi meet Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad, the Amir of Qatar in Dubai on the sidelines of CoP28. They've had a good conversation on the overall bilateral relationship as well as in the well-being of the Indian community," he said.
India appeals against death sentence handed to Navy veterans
The Indian nationals were handed the death sentence by Qatar's Court of First Instance on October 26. India described the ruling as "deeply" shocking and vowed to explore all legal options in the case.
An appeal has already been filed against the death sentence and a higher court in Qatar has admitted the plea. The appeal has been filed by the legal team of the detained Indian nationals.
"There have been two hearings. We filed an appeal, from the families, and the detainees had a final appeal. We are closely following the matter and extending all legal and consular assistance. Meanwhile, our ambassador got consular access to meet all eight of them in prison on 3rd December. This is a sensitive issue, but we will continue to follow and whatever we can share, we will do so,” Bagchi said.
Case of espionage
The Indian nationals, who worked with private company Al Dahra, were arrested in August last year reportedly in an alleged case of espionage. Neither the Qatari authorities nor New Delhi made the charges against the Indian nationals public.
India had described the ruling by the court in Qatar as "deeply" shocking and had vowed to explore all legal options in the case.