Express News Service

NEW DELHI: It has been over a year since eight naval veterans were taken into captivity in Doha, by Qatar’s Ministry of Interior. They are being tried in Qatar under their local laws, with the next date of hearing slated for October 3rd. According to a source, things seem to be moving in the right direction as far as their judicial trial is concerned and there is optimism of their being repatriated by November.

“A knock on their doors on the midnight of August 30, 2022, on the pretext of being taken for an exercise, changed the fate of these eight who were employed with a firm called Dahra Consultancies. Ever since they have been in confinement and are being tried under the Qatari law. The next hearing is on October 3,” said a source.

“However, in the recent past, there have been hushed talks of a possible repatriation of these eight to India by Diwali. Until it actually happens one can’t celebrate, but it seems to have calmed down the eight veterans and their families raising their hope of being sent back home,” the source added.

Interestingly, few are aware, that a month after these eight navy veterans were picked up by Qatar’s Interior Ministry in October 2022, they had been sent back home in Doha to pack their bags and head back to India. Which all eight of them did.

However, after their suitcases were packed and they awaited further orders, the eight were sent back to their confinement cells. Their bags continued to be with them in their cells ever since.

“We don’t exactly know what happened between when they were asked to go and pack their bags and head back to India (in October 2022) to the U-turn that brought them back to their cells. They were again sent to solitary confinement. A few months after that charges were filed against them and they are now being tried under Qatari law,” the source continued.

“The solitary confinement has been changed into dual sharing since the past few months – which has improved the mental health of these eight as they have someone to talk to. We hope that things move in the direction this time, and they are sent back home to celebrate Diwali,” the source added.

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