Pi News –
Navy veteran returns home from Qatar jail in Kerala: ‘Thank you PM Modi’
Thiruvananthapuram: Ragesh Gopakumar, one of the eight Indians recently released from a Qatari prison, cannot stop thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
After spending 18 months in jail, Gopakumar returned home to state capital Balaramapuram.
He was one of the eight former Indian defense personnel who were earlier sentenced to death by a Qatari court. But after extensive diplomatic efforts at the highest level between the two countries, they were all released and returned to India on Monday.
“I can’t express how happy I feel after returning home. I am very grateful to Emir Modiji of Qatar, the foreign affairs team and the staff of the Indian Embassy in Qatar for making this possible,” said Gopakumar, a former senior sailor in the Indian Navy.
A Qatari court on Monday released eight former Indian Defense Ministry officials from custody, seven of whom returned to India.
All eight Indian nationals who worked for Dahra Global were arrested in Qatar. Earlier, the death penalty for the jailed Indian Navy veterans was commuted to extended prison terms following diplomatic talks between Qatar and India.
Eight Indians were jailed in Qatar in October 2022 on charges of spying for its submarine programme.
The Indian nationals were found guilty of espionage by a Qatari court and sentenced to death on charges that have yet to be disclosed.
The Dahra Global case took a major turn last year when a Qatari court commuted the death penalty of Indian nationals following the Indian government’s intervention. The sentence was reduced to imprisonment.