PM Modi Qatar Visit: Qatar had sentenced death to 8 former Indian Navy officers. Seeing the seriousness of the matter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was engaged in solving it at a personal level. Influenced by PM Modi and his team, Qatar changed the death order to life imprisonment and then released all the Indian officers.
After being released, 7 people have also returned to India. PM Modi himself will now go to Qatar to thank this decision.
Qatar showed generosity
PM Modi will visit Qatar’s capital Doha on February 14 after his two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The announcement of PM Modi’s visit to Qatar comes a day after the Gulf country released eight jailed former Indian sailors. Seven of those released returned to India on Monday morning. Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said that Prime Minister Modi has personally monitored the developments in this matter.
India welcomed Qatar’s decision
He said, ‘We are happy with Qatar’s decision to release the Indians.’ The Foreign Secretary said that Modi and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani will hold extensive talks to further expand bilateral relations. The former Indian marines returned to India 46 days after their death sentences were commuted to jail terms of varying lengths last October. The eight faced espionage charges but neither Qatari authorities nor New Delhi made the charges against them public.
Details of Indians arrested in Qatar
Captains (retd) Navtej Gill and Saurabh Vashishtha, Commanders (retd) Purnendu Tiwari, Amit Nagpal, SK Gupta, BK Verma, and Sugunakar Pakala and Sailor (retd) Ragesh were sentenced. People aware of the matter said that Tiwari has stayed in Doha and is likely to return to India soon. The former Navy personnel were sentenced to death by a Qatari court on October 26.
Was arrested in August 2022
Indian nationals working with private company Al Dahra were arrested in August 2022 in an alleged case of espionage. After commuting the death sentence, the court had given Indian citizens 60 days to appeal against their prison sentence order. In December last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hammad Al-Thani on the sidelines of the ‘COP 28’ summit in Dubai and discussed the welfare of the Indian community in Qatar.
Ajit Doval played an important role
It has been revealed that National Security Advisor Ajit Doval played a role in negotiations with Qatari authorities to secure the release of Indian citizens. India was also considering the possibility of implementing the provisions of the bilateral agreement on transfer of convicted persons.
Under the agreement signed between India and Qatar in 2015, there is a provision for those citizens of India and Qatar who have been convicted and sentenced in any criminal case to serve their sentence in their respective countries.