India has appealed to Qatar against the death penalty against eight former navy personnel who were arrested on “confidential” grounds in August last year. In addition, further legal action is being sought.
“As we previously reported, on October 26, the Court of First Instance of Qatar delivered a verdict in the case of eight Indian employees of Al Dahra company. The judgment is confidential and was only communicated to the legal department. They are now pursuing further legal action and have lodged an appeal. We will continue to cooperate with Qatari authorities on this matter,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said at a press conference on Thursday.
The Indian embassy in Qatar was given consular access to the detainees again on November 7, he said. “We are also in touch with the family members and EAM met them in New Delhi earlier this month. We will continue to offer all legal and consular assistance. I would urge everyone not to indulge in speculation given the sensitive nature of the case,” Bagchi added.
On whether India’s ongoing diplomatic row with Canada will be discussed at the India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in New Delhi on Friday, Bagchi said India is open to discussing all issues. “The 2+2 is tomorrow… The US Secretary of Defense has just landed and we expect him later this evening… Given the nature of our relationship and the global strategic partnership, various issues may arise “We will be happy to discuss any issues, including current issues, regional ones Developments… As for Canada, if they want to discuss, we are happy to discuss any issues,” Bagchi said.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin are visiting India to attend the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, which they will co-chair with Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar.
In September this year, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed he had “credible information” about India’s involvement in the killing of Khalistani militant Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada. The Foreign Ministry had denied the claims, saying Ottawa had not provided any “evidence” to corroborate the Canadian prime minister’s claim. This has led to a diplomatic standoff between the two countries that continues.
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