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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Friday, 23 February 2024 2.28 AM IST

'Bharat matha ki jai, set foot on Indian soil only because of Modi's intervention': Ex-Indian seamen express gratitude

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NEW DELHI: Former Indian sailors imprisoned by Qatar on charges of espionage in 2022 have been acquitted. Eight people including Rakesh Gopakumar, a Malayali have been cleared of all charges. Seven of them have returned to India today. Upon arrival in Delhi, they expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

A former naval officer credited their return to Narendra Modi's intervention citing the Government of India's continuous efforts. The group of officials chanted 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' as they exited the Delhi airport.

"We waited nearly 18 months to come back to India. Thanks to the Prime Minister. His personal involvement with Qatar made our return possible. We thank him wholeheartedly for his efforts," said the ex-Navy officer.

In addition to Rakesh Gopakumar, Navtej Singh Gill, Birendra Kumar Verma, Saurabh Vashisht, Amit Nagpal, Purnendu Tiwari, Sugunakar Pakala and Sanjeev Gupta were arrested. Qatar halted their execution last December.

All eight individuals are former officials of the Doha-based company Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy. They took up employment in Qatar after retiring from key positions in the Indian Navy. They were accused of leaking information concerning an Italian submarine.

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