27 Oct 2023

Madhya Pradesh resident Purnendu Tiwari among 8 ex-naval officers sentenced to death in Qatar, sister appeals for his release

Gwalior: India has expressed surprise and shock over death sentence awarded to 8 former Indian naval officers in Qatar. A Qatari court has sentenced 8 former Indian navy officers to death. They were arrested last year i.e. in 2022.


Purnendu Tiwari, resident of Madhya Pradesh, is also among those sentenced to death. Purnendu has been a commander in the Indian Navy. He was currently working with a company providing training and other services to the Navy in Qatar. The Indian government has said that all legal options are being explored to ensure the release of the marines sentenced in Qatar.

As soon as the news of former Navy officer Purnendu Tiwari's death sentence in Qatar reached his family members in Gwalior they were shocked. Purnendu's sister lives in the City Center area of Gwalior. 


While talking to the media, his sister said, “We hope that the Prime Minister will definitely do something”. Mitu Bhargava, sister of Purnendu Tiwari, has been fighting for her brother's release for a long time.

The sister of former Navy officer Purnendu told that “Since August last year, I have not been able to contact my brother in Qatar. In November 2022, I had tweeted to PM Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to get my brother released from Qatar. After this, Foreign Ministry officials contacted me, but his release could not be achieved."

Purnandu has commanded many big ships in Navy

Commander Purnandu Tiwari (Retired), was awarded the President's Award. In 2019, he was honored with the Pravasi Bharatiya Award by the then President Ramnath Kovind. Purnandu Tiwari has commanded many big ships in the Indian Navy.

Last June, Mitu Bhargava had sought help from the government to bring her brother back.

Mitu Bhargava had written on X, "These former Navy officers are the pride of the country and I once again appeal with folded hands to the Honorable Prime Minister that they should be immediately brought back to India without any delay."

Purnandu Tiwari, along with other former Navy officers, had been working in a private company in Qatar. 

In August 2022, the retired officers were arrested on charges of spying and were accused of espionage.

Apart from Commander Purnendu Tiwari, the other convicted men are Captain Navtej Singh Gill, Captain Birendra Kumar Verma, Captain Saurabh Vasisht, Commander Amit Nagpal, Commander Sugunakar Pakala, Commander Sanjeev Gupta and Sailor Ragesh Gopakumar. They worked for a private firm, Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services, which provided training and other services for Qatar's armed forces.

The arrested Navy veterans served in the Indian Navy for up to 20 years and held important positions, including that of instructors. The veterans were reportedly arrested on undisclosed charges and placed in solitary confinement, with reports suggesting they were held for espionage.

According to a news reports, the eight Indians had been charged with spying for Israel. However, they will be able to appeal against their sentences.


Historically friendly relationship


India and Qatar have shared a historically friendly relationship, with strong defense cooperation and trade ties. India was a significant importer of liquefied natural gas from Qatar in 2021, and a large expatriate Indian community resides in the country.


The families of the Indian men have filed a mercy plea to the Emir of Qatar, who has the authority to pardon convicts during specific occasions. The Indian government is navigating the legal complexities of the case and adhering to international laws and the laws of Qatar.

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