In a recent development, the eight ex-Indian Navy personnel, who were sentenced to death by a Qatar court in October over espionage allegations, will reportedly face commuted punishments, as announced by the Indian government.
As reported by NDTV, the details of the reduced terms, likely involving heavy jail time, remain unclear as the judgment has not been released yet.
The Indian government stated that it is in close touch with the legal team and family members to decide on the next steps.
A statement issued from New Delhi declared, "We have stood by them since the beginning of the matter, and we will continue to extend all consular and legal assistance. We will also continue to take up the matter with the Qatari authorities."
The commutation of the death sentences comes on the heels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with Qatari ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani during the CoP28 summit in Dubai.
While details of their conversation were not disclosed, speculation arose that the fate of the sailors was discussed.
The arrested naval personnel include Commander Purnendu Tiwari, Commander Sugunakar Pakala, Commander Amit Nagpal, Commander Sanjeev Gupta, Captain Navtej Singh Gill, Captain Birendra Kumar Verma, Captain Saurabh Vasisht, and Sailor Ragesh Gopakumar.
Several of them are highly decorated military personnel who once commanded Indian warships and were working for a private firm providing training and related services to Qatar's armed forces.
Meanwhile, families of the eight individuals vehemently denied the spying allegations, stating that they were in Qatar to build the Qatari Navy and enhance the nation's security, not engage in espionage for Israel.
They emphasised the lack of proof for the allegations and maintained their stance against the spying charges.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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