‘PM Modi had a talk with Qatar’s president…': Rajnath Singh on Navy veterans' release | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘PM Modi had a talk with Qatar’s president…': Rajnath Singh on Navy veterans' release

Apr 14, 2024 07:48 PM IST

In February, Qatar released eight former Navy personnel who were sentenced to death for allegedly spying on a submarine programme.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the safe return of the retired Navy veterans who were released by Qatar after being handed death sentence on charges of espionage.

“Our retired Navy veterans who were working in some companies in Qatar were sentenced to death...PM Modi had a talk with Qatar's President and within 2-3 days their punishment was reversed and the retired Navy veterans were back in India. This is India's power,” Singh said at a rally in Bihar's Banka, which will go to polls in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections on April 19.

In February, Qatar released eight former Navy personnel who were employed by the Dahra Global company. They were arrested by the Qatar authorities in October 2022 after being accused of allegedly spying on a submarine programme. They were deemed guilty of espionage by the Qatari court, and were sentenced to death.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh said PM Modi had a talk with Qatar's President and within 2-3 days the punishment of Navy veterans was reversed(Sakib Ali/HT Photo)
Defence minister Rajnath Singh said PM Modi had a talk with Qatar's President and within 2-3 days the punishment of Navy veterans was reversed(Sakib Ali/HT Photo)

The death sentenced for the retired Navy personnel was commuted to an extended prison term following diplomatic talks between Qatar and India.

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The jail term was also shortened after various kin of the jailed Indians approached the MEA, which in turn assured the use of all diplomatic channels to bring them back.

HT learnt that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's personal relationship with the Emir of Qatar and the behind-the-scenes diplomacy by national security advisor Ajit Doval had ensured the release of the Navy veterans.

ALSO READ: Qatar frees Indian Navy veterans: What happened on Sunday night?

External affairs minister S Jaishankar had led the diplomatic front while Doval conducted the delicate negotiations at the advice of the prime minister. The NSA had made a number of quiet trips to Doha with the conviction that the Qatari leadership would understand the Indian point of view.

Bihar will vote in all the phases of the Lok Sabha elections that begin on April 19. The counting of votes will take place on June 4.

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