‘Thanks to PM Modi’, says Navy veteran after reaching home in Kerala from Qatar jail

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Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 13 (IANS) Ragesh Gopakumar, one of the eight Indians who were recently released from a jail in Qatar, cannot stop thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Gopakumar returned to his home in the suburbs of the state capital city at Balaramapuram after spending 18 months in jail.

He was one of the eight former Indian Defence personnel, who were previously sentenced to death by a court in Qatar. But following massive diplomatic efforts at the highest level between the two countries all of them were set free and got back to India on Monday.

“I just cannot express my happiness on how and what I feel now after getting back home. Am hugely thankful to Modiji, the Emir of Qatar, the team of the External Affairs and the staff of the Indian Embassy in Qatar for making this happen,” said Gopakumar, a former Indian Naval senior sailor.

The Qatar court on Monday released all eight former Indian Defence personnel from its custody, out of which seven have returned to India.

All the eight Indian nationals working for the Dahra Global company were detained in Qatar. Earlier, the capital punishment for the jailed Indian Navy veterans was commuted to an extended prison term after diplomatic talks between Qatar and India.

The eight Indian nationals were imprisoned in Qatar in October 2022 after being accused of allegedly spying on a submarine programme.

The Indian nationals were deemed guilty of espionage by the Qatari court, and were sentenced to death on charges not yet made public.

The Dahra Global case saw a major development last year when the court in Qatar commuted the death sentence of the Indian nationals after intervention by the Indian government. The sentence was reduced to jail terms.



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