A Qatari court on Thursday handed down death penalty to eight Indian nationals, who were in jail in the country since August last year.
The ministry of external affairs said, it was “deeply shocked” and that it was exploring all legal options in the case.
The charges against the eight former Indian Navy personnel were not made public by Qatari authorities.
“We have initial information that the Court of First Instance of Qatar has today passed a judgement in the case involving eight Indian employees of Al Dahra company,” the MEA said.
“We are deeply shocked by the verdict of death penalty and are awaiting the detailed judgement. We are in touch with the family members and the legal team, and we are exploring all legal options,” it said.
The Indians were working for private firm Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services.
“We understand that the case has been referred to the court by the public prosecution. The first hearing was held on March 29, which was also attended by the defence lawyer appointed for the case as well as our officials,” MEAs former spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said.
He had said the Indian embassy in Doha continues to be in touch with the families of the detained Indians and is extending necessary consular and legal assistance.
“We have also requested another round of consular access. The government attaches high priority to the matter and remains engaged with the Qatari authorities regarding the case,” Bagchi said.
Among those detained is retired commander Punendu Tiwari.
His sister Dr Meetu Bhargava, who lives in Gwalior, had sought help from the government to bring her brother back.
She had said earlier, “I made a tweet on October 25 and appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bring back my brother who is in illegal detention in Doha, Qatar. My brother is a retired commander navy officer and he went there to provide training to Qatar Navy through his company Dahra Global Consultancy Services”.
“There are a total of eight ex-Indian Navy officers, including my brother lying in illegal detention. They were picked up by the Qatar police during the night on August 30. There were no charges against them. Neither the Qatar government told us nor the Indian government have information about any charges imposed on them,” she added.
Tiwari is not healthy at all, he is a senior citizen and suffering from several diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and others. It’s been 70 days since they were in solitary confinement, she added.
“My brother always told us that he had not done anything wrong. Even he was conferred with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award by the Indian government on the recommendation of the Qatar government,” she claimed.