The previous Indian Navy personnel were freed from custody thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s close connection with the Emir of Qatar and the diplomatic moves of national security advisor Ajit Doval behind closed doors. PM Modi suggested NSA Doval lead the highly contentious negotiations for the demobilization of ex-Navy personnel, while External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar dealt with diplomatic matters. NSA Doval was confident that the Qatari leadership could understand India’s perspective, so he made multiple discrete trips to Doha.
In an October ruling that astonished the Indian administration, a Qatari court sentenced the veterans to death. The allegation that the former Navy officer faced was not made visible by the Qatari government, although reports suggested that they were charged with spying. The court lowered their sentence in December; nevertheless, at the time, the notice was made public.
During their meeting on the outskirts of the COP28 conference in Dubai, PM Modi spoke with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar, about bilateral relations.
The chronological significance of this time frame was discussed last month by Randhir Jaiswal, a spokesman for the department of external affairs. He stated that there is a 60-day window during which the issue can be investigated in the highest court in Qatar, the Supreme Court of Cassation.
The private court order that details the conversation between the death sentences and imprisonment terms is in the hands of the legal team representing the MEA. This move became public in a press release after the court of appeal’s choice on December 28. We informed you via a press release that the death penalty, which was previously the only option available, has been replaced with prison terms.
Now that the legal department is privy to that court order, I can confirm that each of them was given an expression of different lengths and that the death penalty has been removed, as Jaiswal had previously said. The MEA spokesperson also mentioned the meeting that took place between Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad and Prime Minister Modi, stating that they had a fruitful discussion about the two countries’ general bilateral relationship.
Following their arrival in New Delhi on Monday morning, seven out of eight Indian Navy officers who served, who had been sentenced to death on espionage charges but had been freed by a Qatari court a year earlier, showered Prime Minister Narendra Modi with praise. Speaking with reporters, a few would not have been freed. One of the Navy veterans thanked Modi for bringing up their sentence with Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani and claimed Modi’s persistent diplomatic efforts were the reason behind their release.