External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar met with the families of 8 former Indian Navy personnel who have been detained in Qatar.
“Met this morning with the families of the 8 Indians detained in Qatar. Stressed that the government attaches the highest importance to the case. Fully share the concerns and pain of the families,” Jaishankar wrote on X after meeting the family members of those detained in Qatar.
“Underlined that government will continue to make all efforts to secure their release. Will co-ordinate closely with the families in that regard,” he further added.
India has been given consular access to the Indian nationals and efforts are on to secure their release.
According to experts in international diplomacy, the Indian government now has two major options to explore, one is to extend legal assistance to the Indian nationals to move to an apex court of Qatar as the verdict was announced by a lower court of the country. The second one is to initiate proceedings before The International Court of Justice to save the lives of Indian nationals.
To save the Indian nationals, the Indian government also has the option of utilizing a 2015 agreement between India and Qatar which is related to the transfer of sentenced prisoners. This agreement permits the nationals to complete their sentences in their respective home countries.
The eight former Indian Navy personnel, who had been employed by a company in Doha, were handed the death penalty by a local court in Doha on October 26.
The Indian government said all legal options were being explored. India's ambassador to Qatar met the men in prison on October 1 after being granted consular access.
The former Indian Navy officers — Captain Navtej Singh Gill, Captain Birendra Kumar Verma, Captain Saurabh Vasisht, Commander Amit Nagpal, Commander Purnendu Tiwari, Commander Sugunakar Pakala, Commander Sanjeev Gupta and Sailor Ragesh — were reportedly arrested by Qatar intelligence agency from Doha on August 30, 2022.