India has officially lodged an appeal with Qatar in response to the recent death penalty verdict handed to eight former Navy personnel. The individuals were arrested in August of the previous year under mysterious circumstances, and the Indian government expressed profound shock at the unexpected judgment delivered last month. Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson for the External Affairs Ministry, revealed on Thursday that Delhi has already initiated the appeal process, emphasizing the confidential nature of the case details, which have only been disclosed to the legal team.
During a scheduled press briefing, Bagchi underscored the unavailability of specific case information and stressed that the judgment's confidentiality has limited its dissemination. He confirmed ongoing efforts to pursue additional legal steps and highlighted the government's commitment to providing comprehensive legal and consular support to the affected individuals' families. Bagchi also cautioned against engaging in speculation due to the sensitive nature of the matter.
The External Affairs Ministry spokesperson disclosed that consular access to the eight ex-Navy officers was last granted on Tuesday, indicating the continued diplomatic engagement in the case. Notably, the individuals, who were affiliated with Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services at the time of their arrest, were involved in a private firm providing training and services to Qatar's armed forces. Some reports suggest that the sailors were engaged in a sensitive project related to stealth submarines based on Italian technology, with media speculation pointing towards accusations of spying for Israel.
Among the convicted individuals are decorated officers who previously commanded significant Indian warships, including Navtej Singh Gill, Birendra Kumar Verma, Saurabh Vasisht, Amit Nagpal, Purnendu Tiwari, Sugunakar Pakala, and Sanjeev Gupta. Notably, their trial commenced on March 29 after bail pleas were rejected. The gravity of the situation was underscored by Bagchi's mention of the External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, meeting with the families of the eight Naval officers in Delhi. As the legal proceedings unfold, India remains in close contact with the families and continues to navigate this complex and delicate diplomatic situation.