New Delhi, April 25
Sacked by their Qatari employers, eight veterans of the Indian Navy, kept in solitary confinement in Doha since August last year, face stringent charges, including the death penalty, at the next court hearing on May 3.
Charges have also been framed against two Qataris, including former Oman Air Force officer Khamis al-Ajmi, who is also the CEO of Dahra Global which had employed them for a super-secret project to build Italian technology-based midget submarines with stealth characteristics. Qatar’s Head of International Military Operations, Maj Gen Tariq Khalid Al Obaidly, is the other Qatari national to be charged.
The eight former Indian Navy personnel have been charged with spying for Israel with the Qatari authorities said to be in possession of electronic evidence in this regard. “We are engaged with the Qatari authorities. Our embassy in Doha continues to remain in touch with the families. The next day of the hearing is in early May. We are trying to see what can be done before that in connection with that hearing,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said when queried about the developments in this regard.
Dahra Global Technologies had employed a large number of former Indian Navy personnel to work on the project. All of them have been informed that the company is closing down from May 31 and have been offered a severance package. With no salaries in future to pay for legal expenses, the MEA said it was making “all efforts to assist these Indians”.
“This is now in the legal process. Let me emphasise that we are making all efforts to assist these Indians who were detained and we are also extending consular assistance as well as legal assistance as part of the legal process that is underway,” Bagchi had reiterated. The Indian Embassy is also facilitating regular visits to the family members and providing consular and legal assistance to the detained eight men.
- Capt Navtej Singh Gill
- Capt Birendra Kumar Verma
- Capt Saurabh Vasisht
- Cdr Amit Nagpal
- Cdr Purnendu Tiwari
- Cdr Sugunakar Pakala
- Cdr Sanjeev Gupta
- Sailor Ragesh
Making efforts to assist them: MEA
- Kept in solitary confinement in Doha since August last year
- Navy veterans have been charged with spying for Israel
- Qatar said to be in possession of electronic evidence
- Charges also framed against 2 Qataris, hearing on May 3
- MEA says making ‘all efforts to assist these Indians’
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