Qatar Frees 8 Navy Veterans Jailed on Espionage Charges, 7 Back In India

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Setting foot to their homeland after several agonising months of captivity in Qatar, seven of the eight Indian navy veterans who were sentenced to death on 'espionage' charges, heaped praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying they wouldn't have been freed had it for the sustained diplomatic efforts at his behest to secure their release. Their death sentence was later commuted to an extended prison term following sustained diplomatic interventions and legal assistance from New Delhi. Relieved to finally walk free, the seven former Navy officers raised chants of 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' after arriving at the Delhi airport in the early hours of Monday.

Speaking to ANI, one of the Navy veterans lauded PM Modi for raising their sentencing with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and attributed their release to relentless diplomatic efforts at his behest. "I feel relieved and delighted to finally be back home safe and sound. I wish to thank Prime Minister Modi as this wouldn't have been possible had it not been for his personal intervention to secure our release.



I also wish to express my gratitude to Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar," he said. Wearing a relieving smile and a calm demeanour, another released former naval officer told ANI, "Without the intervention of PM Modi, we would not have walked free. We wouldn't be standing before you today had it not been for his untiring efforts and interventions at the highest levels to get us freed.