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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 03 March 2024 9.34 PM IST

Acquitted Indian sailors arrive in India; PM Modi to visit Qatar to express gratitude for releasing sailors

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NEW DELHI: The speedy acquittal of eight Indian Navy personnel who were sentenced to death in Qatar is a great recognition of India's diplomacy. Seven out of the eight sailors, including the Malayali Rakesh Gopakumar, who were imprisoned in Qatar have returned to India, thanks to the intervention of the Indian government. The journey of one person is delayed due to an issue related to travel documents.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani tomorrow and thank him for releasing the Indian navy personnel. The acquitted persons are Rakesh Gopakumar, former captains Navtej Singh Gill, Birendra Kumar Verma, Saurabh Vashishth, former commanders Amit Nagpal, Purnendu Tiwari, Sugunakar Pakala and Sanjeev Gupta.

The Union government released an official statement welcoming the decision to set the veteran officers free, saying, "The Government of India welcomes the release of eight Indian nationals working for the Dahra Global company who were detained in Qatar. Seven out of the eight of them have returned to India. We appreciate the decision by the Amir of the State of Qatar to enable the release and home-coming of these nationals."

The eight Indian nationals were imprisoned in Qatar since October 2022 and were accused of allegedly spying on a submarine programme. The retired naval personnel were sentenced to death by a Qatar court on charges that have not yet been made public officially.

Sailors thank Prime Minister
Sailors who returned home thanked the Prime Minister. "We are very happy to be back in India safely. We waited 18 months to come home. Our release was possible only through the personal intervention of the Prime Minister," they said.

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