The eight Indian former naval officers who were handed the death penalty in Qatar were charged with spying for Israel, Reuters reported on Friday quoting sources.
According to the report, a government official aware of Qatar's stance told Reuters that the eight men were accused of spying for Israel. Neither New Delhi nor Doha has officially stated the charges against the ex-Navy men who were arrested in August 2022.
The eight Indians will be able to appeal the death sentence, the source briefed on the case in Qatar told Reuters, after confirming that they had been charged with spying for Israel. Both sources spoke on condition of anonymity given thesensitivity of the case, the report added.
When arrested, the eight were working on a submarine project with a private company for the Qatari authorities. The Indian government said on Thursday that it was "deeply shocked" that Qatar's Court of First Instance had awarded the death penalty to the eight Indians, adding it was "exploring all legal options".
New Delhi had said that it attaches "high importance to this case" and will "take up the verdict with Qatari authorities". The government said it would not comment further due to the "confidential nature of the proceedings."
Earlier, India will fight a legal battle to bring back all eight former Indian Navy personnel who have been sentenced to death by a court in Qatar, the BJP was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Replying to a related question at a press conference here at the party headquarters, BJP national spokesperson Ajay Alok said the Ministry of External Affairs is already looking into the matter.
"And, India has duly placed its stand also on the issue," he told reporters.
"We are surprised to see that such things also happen. We will fight a legal battle in this matter. The international court of justice is there. I think government of India will place its stand and we will definitely succeed in bringing them back from there," Alok added.