An Indian government official, knowledgeable about Qatar’s position, disclosed that Qatari authorities had charged these individuals with espionage for Israel.
In August 2022, the Qatari intelligence agency arrested 8 Indian nationals. (Representative Image)
Eight former Indian Navy personnel, including 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, have been sentenced to death by a Qatari court.
They were charged with alleged espionage for Israel. Their arrests took place in August 2022 by the Qatari intelligence agency in Doha, though official charges were not publicly disclosed by India or Qatar.
A government official in India, aware of Qatar’s stance, disclosed that the Qatari authorities accused these individuals of spying for Israel. The convicted Indians have the option to appeal their sentences.
Both the Indian and Qatari foreign ministries refrained from commenting on the matter, and there was no immediate response from Israel’s Prime Minister’s office, responsible for overseeing the country’s intelligence services.
The Ministry of External Affairs in India expressed “deep shock” upon hearing the verdict and stated they are exploring all legal options.
They emphasized their commitment to supporting the case, providing consular and legal assistance, and raising the issue with Qatari authorities. It’s worth noting that a significant population of over 800,000 Indian citizens lives and works in Qatar.