Thiruvananthapuram: Former Indian Navy officer and Malayali Ragesh Gopakumar thanked the central government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for helping him return to the country from Qatar. Qatar has freed eight Indians sentenced to death due to the strong intervention by the Modi government. Ragesh Gopakumar was responding to Janam TV after returning home in Thiruvananthapuram.
“I could come home only because of Prime Minister Narendra Modiji’s intervention. I am indebted and thankful to the Prime Minister for that. Thanks also to Emir of Qatar who helped me to come back to India. I am also grateful to Foreign Minister S Jayashankar, the Ambassador there and Union Minister V Muraleedharan,” said Ragesh.
“V. Muraleedharan sir also helped a lot. He had come home and comforted my family. Thanks to him too,” said Ragesh Gopakumar. He said that he did not know about the central government intervention before being released from the Qatar jail. He did not reveal much regarding the relationship between the two countries.
Eight former Indian Navy personnel who were detained in Qatar jail and sentenced to death were released from Qatar’s custody. They were working in a Doha-based company called Dahra Global and were taken into custody in Qatar in August 2022. Though the specific charges against them were not disclosed by Qatari authorities, according to reports they were charged with spying for Israel.
Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on the sidelines of the COP28 summit in Dubai on December 1, 2023, the Indian Ambassador in Doha was granted consular access to them, leading to further talks between the two countries and their subsequent release from jail. Seven out of the eight have returned to India. One among the released individuals is the Kerala native, Ragesh Gopakumar.