According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the Indian diplomat held discussions with eight former Navy officers on death row in Qatar, stating that India is closely monitoring the case.

On Thursday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced that Indian ambassadors have been granted consular access to meet eight former Indian Navy officials facing death row in Qatar. MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi provided an update on the case, mentioning that following the acceptance of India’s appeal, the Qatari court conducted two hearings, with India actively providing legal and consular support.

Arindam Bagchi stated, “There have been two hearings. We filed an appeal, from the families, and the detainees had a final appeal. Two hearings have since been held. We are closely following the matter and extending all legal and consular assistance. Meanwhile, our ambassador got consular access to meet all 8 of them in prison on 3rd December. This is a sensitive issue, but we will continue to follow, and whatever we can share, we will do so.”

Earlier in November, the Indian embassy in Qatar had received consular access to the incarcerated Indians. Bagchi also highlighted the recent meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad during COP-28 in Dubai, where discussions included bilateral relations and the well-being of the Indian community in Qatar.

Regarding the case, on October 26, Qatar’s Court of First Instance handed down death sentences to the eight former Indian Navy officials. India expressed deep shock at the ruling and is exploring all legal avenues. In November, Qatari authorities accepted the appeal filed by the Indian government, with the next court hearing anticipated soon.

Both Qatar and India have chosen not to disclose specific details of the case officially, including the reasons for the arrest and subsequent death penalty conviction. However, sources have suggested that the former Indian Navy personnel are accused of spying for Israel.

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