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Rediff.com  » News » Freed Navy veterans laud PM for securing their release

Freed Navy veterans laud PM for securing their release

Source: ANI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
February 12, 2024 10:48 IST
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Setting foot to their homeland after several agonising months of captivity in Qatar, seven of the eight Indian navy veterans who were sentenced to death on 'espionage' charges, heaped praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying they wouldn't have been freed had it for the sustained diplomatic efforts at his behest to secure their release.

IMAGE: Indian Navy veterans return to New Delhi airport after being released by Qatar, on Monday morning. Photograph: ANI on X

Their death sentence was later commuted to an extended prison term following sustained diplomatic interventions and legal assistance from New Delhi.

Relieved to finally walk free, the seven former Navy officers raised chants of 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' after arriving at the Delhi airport in the early hours of Monday.

 

Speaking to ANI, one of the Navy veterans lauded Modi for raising their sentencing with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and attributed their release to relentless diplomatic efforts at his behest.

"I feel relieved and delighted to finally be back home safe and sound. I wish to thank Prime Minister Modi as this wouldn't have been possible had it not been for his personal intervention to secure our release. I also wish to express my gratitude to Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar," he said.

Wearing a relieving smile and a calm demeanour, another released former naval officer told ANI, "Without the intervention of PM Modi, we would not have walked free. We wouldn't be standing before you today had it not been for his untiring efforts and interventions at the highest levels to get us freedom."

Another freed navy veteran also came out in praise of the Centre's intervention in securing their release, saying, "We, as well as our anxious family members back home, had been waiting for this day for a long time. It all worked out because of PM Modi and his personal intervention in the matter. He took up our case with the highest levels of the Qatari government and eventually secured our release. I don't have enough words to express my gratitude to him and the Emir of Qatar."

"We are very happy to be back and it wouldn't have been possible had the honourable Prime Minister not taken personal interest in the matter. I also thank the Qatar Emir for his personal involvement in the matter," another former Navy officer told ANI.

"We waited almost 18 months to be back home to our loved ones in India. We are extremely grateful to PM Modi for getting us back. We wouldn't have seen this day without the joint efforts of PM Modi and the Emir of Qatar. The personal equations that the two leaders share also helped in our release," another Navy veteran told ANI after landing in Delhi.

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Source: ANI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
 
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