Qatar has released eight Indian Navy veterans who were initially sentenced to death on charges of espionage. The Indian government successfully intervened diplomatically, leading to the commutation of the capital punishment to extended prison terms. The retired naval personnel were accused of spying on a submarine program in Qatar, and their release follows intense diplomatic efforts by India. Seven out of the eight individuals have already returned to India, marking a positive outcome after a prolonged period of uncertainty for their families and the Indian government. The Ministry of External Affairs welcomed the decision and expressed gratitude to the Amir of the State of Qatar for facilitating the release and repatriation of the Indian nationals.
The specific details of the charges and the reduced prison terms have not been officially disclosed, and the Ministry of External Affairs is awaiting the detailed judgment. The successful resolution of this case adds to the recent positive engagement between India and Qatar, as evidenced by the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani during the COP28 summit in Dubai, where they discussed bilateral partnership and the well-being of the Indian community in Qatar.