Who Are The 8 soldiers Arrested By Qatar? How And Why Did Qatar Arrest Him?

Qatar frees navy veterans, latest news, history, Qatar frees navy veterans jailed on espionage charges, release of Indian soldiers from Qatar (names of soldiers released from Qatar, story, photo, video)

Qatar on Monday released eight Indian Navy veterans jailed in an espionage case, ending 18 months of diplomatic efforts and legal battles. This is a major diplomatic victory for India. All but seven of the eight former soldiers arrived in New Delhi on Monday morning, concluding 18 months of legal battles and diplomatic efforts.

Names of soldiers imprisoned in Qatar –

The eight Indian Naval officers jailed in Qatar are: Captain Navtej Singh Gill, Captain Birendra Kumar Verma, Captain Saurabh Vasistha, Commander Amit Nagpal, Commander Purnendu Tiwari, Commander Sugunakar Pakala, Commander Sanjeev Gupta and Sailor Ragesh.

Why were Indian soldiers arrested by Qatar?

The main reason for the arrest of these Indian Navy ex-servicemen in Qatar was the allegation of espionage. He was arrested in Doha in August 2022, when he was working with a private company, Al Dahra. The Qatari intelligence agency alleged that these men were involved in spying on a submarine, due to which they were put in jail. No specific allegations were made publicly by Qatar or India in this matter, but it was clear that it was based on suspicions of espionage.

Qatar's intention behind this arrest was to address security concerns and protect its national interests, which is often seen in such cases. However, India provided diplomatic and legal assistance to its citizens in this case, which eventually led to the release of these soldiers.

How did Qatar treat Indian soldiers?

Following the arrest of former Indian Navy servicemen by Qatar, limited information is publicly available regarding their treatment. However, the episode saw a long cycle of diplomatic and legal efforts, including his time in prison and his eventual release.

Following his arrest on espionage charges, he was held in a prison in Qatar, where he was tried under Qatari law. In March 2023, the trial against him began and in October 2023, he was sentenced to death, which was later commuted to a prison sentence through the appeals process.

Throughout this episode, the Indian government provided diplomatic and legal assistance to its citizens. In December 2023, the Indian ambassador was granted consular access to meet jailed soldiers for the first time, indicating a softening in Qatar's treatment of these soldiers.

Ultimately, through discussions and diplomatic initiatives between the two countries, the sentences of these soldiers were commuted and they were released in February 2024. This shows that Qatar ultimately took a sympathetic and understanding stance, thereby ensuring the safe return of these Indian soldiers.

Complete information from the arrest to the release of the soldiers who returned from Qatar,

  • August 2022: Qatar's intelligence agency arrested Indian nationals from Doha who were working with a private company, Al Dahra, in an espionage case. No allegations were made against him publicly by Qatar or India.
  • October 2022: Qatari authorities accused him of spying on a submarine, and he was jailed the same month.
  • March 2023: The trial against former navy servicemen begins under Qatari law. Charges were leveled against him.
  • October 2023: Qatar's first instance court sentences eight men to death. The central government expressed “deep shock” and confirmed that it will provide all consular and legal assistance and explore all possible options to rescue the ex-servicemen.
  • November 2023: The Indian government filed an appeal against the death penalty in the High Court of Qatar.
  • November 16: Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi announced that the appeal process was in progress and that the government was expecting a "positive outcome" from Qatar.
  • November 26: Qatari court accepts India's appeal against the death penalty, saying they were studying the case.
  • December 2023: Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on December 1 on the sidelines of the COP28 conference in Dubai. The conversation is believed to have helped Qatari authorities change their position on the death penalty case.
  • December 3: Two days after PM Modi and Al Thani met, Indian Ambassador Vipul gained the first consular access to meet eight jailed Indians.
  • December 28: An appellate court in Qatar quashed the death sentences of eight Indian ex-servicemen and commuted the sentences to jail terms.
  • February 12, 2024: Doha released all eight Indian Navy veterans, and seven of them returned to India.

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