A court based in Qatar sentenced eight former Indian Navy personnel to death on Thursday. The individuals were detained in the country for more than a year.
Responding to the death penalty verdict, the government of India has expressed its shock and said it has been exploring possible legal actions.
Everyone is deeply shocked by the death penalty verdict and is waiting for a detailed judgment. They are in contact with family members and the legal team and are exploring all possible legal options, as the Ministry of External Affairs (abbreviated the MEA) mentioned in an official statement.
The case is highly important, and the relevant authorities have followed it very closely. They will continue extending all kinds of consular as well as legal aid. They will take up the verdict with the Qatari authorities, it further added.
However, the MEA, in the statement, acknowledged the proceedings’ confidential nature and declined to comment further.
In August last year, Qatar detained the eight former Navy officers on suspecting they were working as spies for Israel as they were employed by a firm based in Qatar.
The former Indian Navy officer, Capt. Navtej Singh Gill, Capt. Saurabh Vasisht, Capt. Birendra Kumar Verma, Cmdr. Amit Nagpal, Cmdr. Purnendu Tiwari, Cmdr. Sugunakar Pakala, Cmdr. Sanjeev Gupta and a sailor named Ragesh were arrested by a Qatari intelligence agency from Doha on 30 August last year.
The bail pleas of the veterans were denied many times by Qatar’s authorities. The latest death penalty was declared by the Court of First Instance of Qatar.
Per media reports, the veterans encountered allegations of espionage-related to a submarine mission on behalf of Israel. The Qatari authorities have claimed that they have electronic evidence that pertains to the matter.
References: The Wire, Livmint
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