After surviving months in captivity in Qatar on ‘espionage’ allegations, seven of the eight Indian navy veterans who returned home thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for their release. Their initial death sentences were eventually commuted to prolonged jail terms as a result of India’s persistent diplomatic initiatives and legal help.
The veterans expressed relief and thanks upon their return to India, praising PM Modi’s personal involvement in raising their matter with Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani. They emphasised that their release would not have been possible without Prime Minister Modi’s tireless efforts at the highest diplomatic levels.
Upon landing at the Delhi airport, the freed navy officers joyfully chanted ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, demonstrating their patriotism and delight at being reunited with their loved ones. Without PM Modi’s assistance, we would not have walked free. We wouldn’t be here before you now if it hadn’t been for his tireless efforts and high-level interventions to secure our freedom.”
Another freed navy veteran praised the Centre’s role in winning their release, stating, “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”.
They praised PM Modi and the Emir of Qatar for enabling their release and thanked New Delhi for its assistance during their struggle.
Earlier on Monday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced the release of eight Indian Navy personnel who had been sentenced to death in Qatar. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) hailed the return of the navy veterans, reaffirming the government’s commitment to their safe return. The MEA praised Qatar’s decision to allow the release of the Indian nationals and emphasised India’s continuous support for them. PM Modi’s meeting with Qatar’s Emir at the COP28 conference in Dubai highlighted bilateral collaboration and the well-being of the Indian minority in Qatar. The MEA emphasised the continuing legal procedures and reiterated its commitment to provide consular and legal support to veterans.
Eight Indian people were imprisoned in Qatar since October 2022, accused of espionage on a submarine development. A Qatari court condemned the former naval members to death on unspecified allegations. In light of the reduced sentences, the MEA’s legal team is awaiting the complete verdict and stays in regular communication with the parties involved. The successful end of this tragic event emphasises the value of diplomatic engagement and international relationships in protecting the interests of Indian residents overseas.
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