In a big win for Indian diplomacy, Qatar released eight navy veterans, who were arrested on espionage charges in August 2022, the Ministry of External Affairs informed on Monday (12 February) morning.
The MEA's press release welcomed the eight ex-Navy personnel and said that seven of them have returned to India. It also appreciated the decision by the Amir of the State of Qatar to enable the release.
These eight Indian nationals were working for a private company called Dahra Global. They were identified as Captain Navtej Singh Gill, Captain Birendra Kumar Vermak, Captain Saurabh Vasishti, Commander Amit Nagpal, Commander Purnendu Tiwari, Commander Sugunakar Pakala, Commander Sanjeev Gupta and Seaman Ragesh.
During the complete time of legal challenges, the MEA was in touch with the families of these retired Navy officers in India and secured consular access to them several times in Qatar.
"It wouldn't have been possible for us to stand here without the intervention of PM Modi. And it also happened due to the continuous efforts of the Government of India," said one of the returnees.
The others reiterated similar thoughts by saying that it wouldn't have been possible without Prime Minister Narendra Modi's personal intervention and his equation with Qatar.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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