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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 18 April 2024 8.10 PM IST

'Never thought I could have lunch with my family again,' Ragesh and family thanks Modi

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: "I did not know about the release even during the journey from the jail to the embassy. It was a second birth when Ambassador Vipul informed that the move is to bring you home as soon as possible." Ragesh Gopakumar and family expresses gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his release after spending 18 months in Qatar prison.

Gopakumar, along with seven others faced charges of sedition in August 2022 leading to a death sentence by a Qatari trial court last October. However, diplomatic efforts between Modi and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad resulted in a reduction to imprisonment.

After Dr Deepak Mithal was replaced by Vipul as the ambassador to Qatar, the process of release was speeded up. Ragesh was given the opportunity to see his wife and children while he was in prison. The family was brought to Qatar four times at government expense. He was given the opportunity to call home three days a week. Books and sweets were duly delivered from the embassy.

He was brought from the jail to the embassy in a special vehicle on Sunday night. Company MD Commander Purnendu Tiwari's travel permit was not valid and therefore directed him to go to his home. The other seven were brought to Delhi by Asst. ambassador. Ragesh was given accommodation at the Ashoka Hotel in Delhi, but after being informed that he should return home as soon as possible, flight tickets were arranged. His wife says that she will not leave him anywhere. Ragesh says he also feels the same way. She has prepared the much-loved dal curry and beetroot thoran. I didn't think that I will be able to have lunch with my family again - Ragesh said.

Ragesh and his family were met by BJP leader Prakash Javadekar, state president K Surendran, District President VV Rajesh. Javadekar said that the release is an example that any citizen can get help from Modi at any stage. Commander Purnendu Tiwari will also be released soon.

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