Reports are making the rounds on social media claiming that Qatar has expelled India’s Defence Attaché for alleged involvement in espionage for Israel.
Pertinent to mention that eight former Indian Navy officers were detained in Qatar last year. The New Indian Express said the former naval officers were ‘mysteriously’ detained in Doha.
“All of them were working for a firm called Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy and were reportedly engaged in conducting naval exercises,” it said. “The officers were working with Dahra in Doha for the past five years. Sometime in August, they were picked up from their homes in the middle of the night by the State Security Bureau, ministry of interior Qatar,” the report said.
The detained officers include Commander Purnendu Tiwari (awarded President’s medal), the managing director of the company. The others are Cdr Navtej Singh Gill, director (naval training); Cdr Birendra Kumar Verma, director of the naval academy; Cdr Sugunakar Pakala, director, FCN; Cdr Sanjeev Gupta, Cdr Amit Nagpal, Capt Saurab Vasisht and Ragesh Gopakumar.
Reports claimed that the officers were detained by Qatar on charges of spying for Israel, however, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) revealed no information regarding the allegations against these former officials.
The latest round of reports claims that Qatar has expelled the Indian Defence Attaché for being linked to the detained ex-naval officers. The reports are yet to be officially verified.
As per sources, Qatar has expelled India's Defense Attaché after eight officers of Indian Navy were arrested and held in solitary confinement by officials on charges of espionage. The detained Indian Navy personnel have been identified as: Cdr Purnendu Tiwari, Capt Navtej Singh..
— Fidato (@tequieremos) January 9, 2023
Indian defence attache was involved in the spying ring, and has been expelled back to New Delhi.
— Pakistan Strategic Forum (@ForumStrategic) January 9, 2023
The Indian defence attache was involved in the spying ring, and has been expelled back to New Delhi. pic.twitter.com/jb7qrNwccH
— International Defence Analysis (@Defence_IDA) January 9, 2023
The Indian defence attache was involved in the spying ring, and has been expelled back to New Delhi. https://t.co/tHfNsZ6y5n
— The Intel Consortium (@INTELPSF) January 9, 2023
On 3 November, India’s MEA claimed that the Indian mission to Doha is working diligently for their release and repatriation from Qatar. In addition, the Spokesperson for the MEA, Arindam Bagchi, stated that the Indian Embassy in Doha communicated with the Qatari authorities and that the Indian diplomats gained consular access to the detained officials and confirmed their well-being.