Appeal filed, India got 2nd consular access to 8 Indians on death row in Qatar | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Appeal filed, India got 2nd consular access to 8 Indians on death row in Qatar: MEA

Nov 09, 2023 06:58 PM IST

India got the first consular access to the 8 Navy veterans in Qatar last year, two months after they were arrested.

India has got a second consular access to the eight Navy veterans who were sentenced to death by a Qatar court on November 7, the ministry of external affairs said. India is in touch with the Qatari authorities in regard to this issue, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Thursday during the weekly briefing of the ministry. "Qatar has a court first instance that gave the judgment on eight Indian employees. The judgement is confidential and has been shared with the legal team. An appeal has been filed in this regard. We are also in touch with Qatari authorities," Bagchi said. Indian authorities are also in touch with the family members of the eight men, minister S Jaishankar met them , the spokesperson said adding that India will continue providing legal assistance to them.

India got consular access to 8 Indians on death row in Qatar on November 7: MEA
India got consular access to 8 Indians on death row in Qatar on November 7: MEA

The court sentenced eight Navy veterans to death on October 26 on undisclosed charges. All of them were employees of D0ha-based Dahra Global and were arrested in August 2022 for espionage. India called the ruling deeply shocking and deployed all diplomatic channels to engage with Qatar on this case.

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The arrested Indians were identified as 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 – all ex-Indian Navy.

“We are deeply shocked by the verdict of death penalty and are awaiting the detailed judgment. We are in touch with the family members and the legal team, and we are exploring all legal options,” the ministry said in its first response after the verdict.

Why have families not been provided with a copy of the judgement: Congress leader Manish Tewari

Congress leader Manish Tewari reacted to Arindam Bagchi's statement that the verdict was confidential and said it was not possible. "No Judgement of any Court of Law & that to sentencing 08 Retired Senior Naval Personnel of a ‘ friendly foreign country’ to death can be confidential. Even in the most cuckoo judicial systems of the most warped banana Republics can a judgement of a Court of Law be confidential. Why have the families not been provided with a copy of the Judgment? Have the incarcerated Retired Naval officers been given a translated cop of the judgement or is it confidential from them too," Manish Tewari tweeted.

8 ex-Navy men sentenced to death in Qatar: Timeline

On August 30, 2022, the eight men employed by defence company Dahara Global were arrested.

October, 2022: Consular access was granted.

March 2023: The last of the many bail pleas filed for the veterans was rejected and charges were filed against them.

May 2023: Dahra Global closed all its operations.

August 2023: The solitary confinement of the eight men ended and they were put together with two men in each cell.

October 2023: A court awarded the death penalty to them.

November 7: Second consular access given to India.

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