Who are 8 Indian ex-Navy veterans released by Qatar


Eight Indian Navy veterans, including esteemed officers like Captains Navtej Gill and Saurabh Vasisht, were freed from Qatar. Their release, following legal entanglements linked to their work with Dahra Global Technologies, reflects India’s diplomatic prowess. Seven have returned home, a result of persistent efforts by New Delhi, with gratitude expressed towards Qatar’s Amir. This achievement underscores the importance of international collaboration in resolving such matters, as highlighted in recent discussions between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Qatar’s Emir.


Eight Indian Navy veterans, previously sentenced to prison terms in Qatar, have been released and returned to India, marking a significant diplomatic achievement for New Delhi. The Ministry of External Affairs confirmed the return of seven out of the eight veterans, who had faced dire legal circumstances in Qatar.

Who are the eight ex-Navy veteran?

The roster of the detained veterans comprises esteemed naval officers and a sailor, each with a distinct professional journey. Notable among them are Captains Navtej Gill and Saurabh Vasisht, Commanders Purnendu Tiwari, Amit Nagpal, SK Gupta, BK Verma, Sugunakar Pakala, and sailor Ragesh. Captain Navtej Gill, honored with the President’s Gold Medal for excellence, exemplifies the caliber of these individuals, having served as an instructor at the Defence Services Staff College in Tamil Nadu. Commander Tiwari, recognized with the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman in 2019, had been engaged in training the Qatari Navy through his association with Dahra Global Technologies.

  • Eight veterans, including Captains Navtej Gill and Saurabh Vasisht, detained in August 2022 on undisclosed charges.
  • Affiliation with Doha-based Al Dahra Global Technologies, engaged in providing training to Qatar’s armed forces, initiated legal proceedings.
  • Notable figures like Captain Navtej Gill, honored with the President’s Gold Medal for excellence, among the detained veterans.
  • Their purpose in Qatar was to contribute to the introduction of Italian U212 stealth submarines into the Qatari Emiri Naval Force
  • “People familiar with the matter had earlier said on condition of anonymity that Purnendu Tiwari was given a 25-year prison term, while Ragesh was given a three-year sentence,” revealing insights into the varying durations of the imposed sentences.

Diplomatic Triumph

The recent turn of events, wherein the veterans’ sentences were commuted and their subsequent release facilitated, marks a significant diplomatic victory for India. Through persistent diplomatic engagement, New Delhi succeeded in advocating for the rights and repatriation of its citizens, reinforcing the value of international cooperation in resolving legal entanglements.

The Indian government expressed appreciation for the decision to release the veteran officers, 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 Indian government expressed gratitude for the release of the eight nationals working for Dahra Global in Qatar, with seven of them having already returned to India. The MEA acknowledged and appreciated the decision made by the Amir of the State of Qatar, facilitating the release and return of these individuals.

Amidst fervent appeals from the anxious families of the Navy veterans for their release and safe return to India, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) assured to utilize all diplomatic channels and provide legal assistance. As of Monday, seven out of the eight ex-Navy officers have already returned to India, according to an official statement from the MEA.

The newly appointed spokesperson for the ministry of external affairs highlighted the temporal significance, mentioning a 60-day appeal window in the Court of Cassation, Qatar’s highest court. The MEA’s legal team possesses the confidential court order detailing the commutation of death sentences to imprisonment, with varying durations for each individual.

The MEA spokesperson also noted a recent meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Emir of Qatar, highlighting their positive discussions on overall bilateral relations.

(You can now subscribe to our Economic Times WhatsApp channel)


Harry Byrne

Related post