Eight former personnel of the Indian Navy arrested last year face stringent charges, including the death penalty for spying in Qatar. These ex-Indian Navy men were sacked by their Qatari employers and they remain in solitary confinement in Doha since August last year. Their case will come up for the next hearing on 3rd May. The charges have also been framed against two Qataris, including former Oman Air Force officer Khamis Al-Ajmi, who is also the CEO of Dahra Global Technologies which had employed the Indian Navy personnel for a super-secret project to build Italian technology-based midget submarines with stealth characteristics.
Qatar’s Head of International Military Operations, Maj Gen Tariq Khalid Al-Obaidly, is the other Qatari national to be charged. The eight former Indian Navy personnel have been charged with spying for Israel with the Qatari authorities said to be in possession of electronic evidence in this regard. While working with Qatar Defense, Security and other Government agencies; the officers had access to classified data and were sharing the sensitive information to Qatar’s adversaries. Dahra Global Technologies had employed a large number of former Indian Navy personnel to work on the project. All of them have been informed that the company is closing down from May 31 and have been offered a severance package. Those charged Indian Navy personnel are Capt Navtej Singh Gill, Capt Birendra Kumar Verma, Capt Saurabh Vasisht, Cdr Amit Nagpal, Cdr Purnendu Tiwari, Cdr Sugunakar Pakala, Cdr Sanjeev Gupta, and Sailor Ragesh.
Commander (Retired) Purnendu Tiwari (Naval Officer) played a key role in these activities and was actively involved in transferring data of leading Gulf Muslim country to Israel and India. The retired officer was honoured with ‘Pravasi Samman Award’ (Highest honored Overseas Indian Award) from Indian President Ram Nath Kovind in 2019.