Indian envoy meets 8 ex-Navy men on death row in Qatar : The Tribune India

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Indian envoy meets 8 ex-Navy men on death row in Qatar

Indian envoy meets 8 ex-Navy men on death row in Qatar

Arindam Bagchi External Affairs Ministry spokesperson. PTI file photo



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 7

The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said it is focused on the judicial process regarding eight former Navy personnel sentenced to death by a Doha court in October even as India’s envoy to Qatar met the detained men on Sunday, said Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.

Deepak Mittal, the previous Indian envoy and currently the lead negotiator on the Qatar case, was also given access twice after the former Navy personnel were arrested in Doha last September.

Indian embassy officials have been given periodic access to ascertain their well-being, Bagchi had said when the second consular access was granted last December. Two hearings on the appeal against the death sentence have already taken place.

“We are closely following the matter and extending all legal and consular assistance,” said Bagchi. The former Indian Navy personnel were on October 26 given death sentence by Qatar’s Court of First Instance. India described the ruling as “deeply shocking” and said it would explore all legal options in the case. The MEA also said it was attaching “high importance” to the case.

The Indian nationals, who worked with private company Al Dahra, were arrested in August last year reportedly in an alleged case of espionage. The charges were filed against the eight Indian Navy veterans on March 25 and they were tried under Qatari law.

MEA mum on Modi raising issue at COP28

Asked if PM Modi took it up with Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani when they met on the sidelines of COP28 in Dubai last week, Arindam Bagchi did not give a direct reply and referred to Modi’s post on ‘X’. “We had a good conversation on the potential of bilateral ties and the well-being of the Indian community in Qatar,” the PM had said.

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