Eight Indians sentenced to death in Qatar; India says deeply shocked

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New Delhi: Eight former Indian Navy personnel were on Thursday handed death penalty in Qatar by a local court, a verdict that India described as "deeply" shocking.

The Indian nationals, all employees of Al Dahra company, were taken into custody in August last year in an alleged case of espionage. The charges against the Indian nationals were not made public by Qatari authorities.

In its reaction, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said it is attaching "high importance" to this case and is exploring all legal options.

"We have initial information that the Court of First Instance of Qatar has today passed a judgement in the case involving eight Indian employees of Al Dahra company. We are deeply shocked by the verdict of death penalty and are awaiting the detailed judgement. We are in touch with the family members and the legal team, and we are exploring all legal options," it said.

The MEA said it will continue to extend all consular and legal assistance to the Indians.

"We attach high importance to this case, and have been following it closely. We will continue to extend all consular and legal assistance. We will also take up the verdict with Qatari authorities. Due to the confidential nature of proceedings of this case, it would not be appropriate to make any further comment at this juncture," it said in a statement.

India's ambassador to Qatar met the men in prison on October 1 after being granted consular access. 

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