Following the execution of eight former Indian naval officers on vague charges by a court in Qatar, India has declared that it is considering all available legal options.
Per reports, the men were detained last year on suspicion of spying for a private company in Qatar.
India and Qatar have not disclosed the precise accusations leveled against them.
The Indian government expressed its “deep shock” at the verdict on Thursday and said it would discuss it with the authorities in Qatar.
In a statement, the Indian foreign ministry stated that it gave “high importance to this case” and was awaiting the full judgment.
The ministry stated, “We are in contact with the family members and the legal team, and we are exploring all legal options.” It added that due to the “confidential nature of proceedings of this case,” it would not be making any more comments at this time.
The men are identified in the statement as workers for Al Dahra, a private company, but there have been numerous reports that they were once part of the Indian Navy. Foreign Minister S Jaishankar referred to them as “ex-servicemen” of the nation last year in parliament. Some of the men’s families have also provided local media with confirmation of their identities and Navy history.
Although their arrest in August of last year garnered national attention in India, little information regarding the accusations against them has been verified.
The men were allegedly accused of “breaching sensitive secrets,” according to The Hindu newspaper, although neither government has confirmed this. The BBC contacted the Qatari embassy with inquiries despite being unable to independently confirm the claims.
According to experts, the recent diplomatic disputes may have an effect on the two nations’ relations. There are more than 700,000 Indians in Qatar, and our economies are closely connected. The Hindu was informed by Deepa Gopalan, a former Indian ambassador to Qatar, that “the Indian government has been following the case closely, without doubt, but would need to take it up at the highest level to ensure their lives are saved.”
The government was in continuous communication with Qatar regarding the “very sensitive case,” Mr. Jaishankar informed the parliament in December.
“Our first priorities are their interests. Senior officials and ambassadors communicate with Qatar’s government on a regular basis. They are our top priority, we promise,” he remarked.
Tens of thousands of Indians who reside in the Gulf work in low-paying, semi-skilled jobs. There are millions of Indians in the Gulf.
These migrant laborers are a significant source of remittances for India and have contributed significantly to the development of the economies of the Gulf Arab states.