India, on 7 November, secured a second consular access to eight navy veterans who were sentenced to death by a Qatari court, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has stated as per a Hindustan Times report.
India has contacted Qatari authorities about the matter, MEA spokesman Arindam Bagchi said at the Ministry's weekly briefing on Thursday (9 November).
Consular access is the ability of foreign nationals to have access to consulate or embassy officials of their own country in the host nation.
Bagchi stated, "There is a court of first instance in Qatar that ruled against eight Indian workers. The judgment is confidential and has been shared with the legal team. An appeal was filed on the matter. We are also in contact with the Qatari authorities".
Indian authorities are also contacting family members of the eight men, and Minister S Jaishankar is meeting them, the spokesman said, adding that India will continue to provide them with legal aid.
They were all employees of Doha-based Dahra Global and were arrested in August 2022 for alleged espionage.
Calling the decision deeply shocking, India used all diplomatic channels to engage with Qatar on the issue.
The arrested Indians 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, all ex-Indian Navy personnel.
"We are deeply shocked by the death sentence and await a detailed verdict. We are in contact with family members and the legal team and are exploring all legal options," the ministry said in its first response after the verdict.
Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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