Eight former Indian Navy officers working for Qatar Company are being held in Doha

Eight former Indian Navy officers working in Qatar are in custody in that country, and a company provides training and other services to the Qatari Emiri Navy.

According to sources, the Indian Embassy in Doha is aware of the incident.

The incident came to light on Tuesday following a tweet from the handle @DrMeetuBhargava – the Twitter bio identified him as a ‘teacher and spiritual figure’ – who said the veteran is in illegal detention/detention in Doha “for 57 days”.

Several ministers have been tagged in the post, including Prime Minister and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Hardeep Puri.

The former Navy officers worked for Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services; the Deccan Era has learned. The company describes itself as a “local business partner” of Qatar’s defence, security and other government agencies and its core competencies as defence equipment operation and maintenance.

The group’s CEO, Khamis Al Ajmi, is a retired Squadron Leader of the Royal Oman Air Force.

The firm’s managing director Commander Purnendu Tiwari (retired), is among the eight Indians detained. He received the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award in 2019 from the then-President of India, Ram Nath Kovind.

His profile on the company’s website says that when he served in the Indian Navy, he commanded a minesweeper and a sizeable amphibious warship.

There are no details about why the men were picked up and the charges against them. The Indian Express has learned that the men were allowed consular visits by officials from the Indian mission in Doha earlier this month.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi could not be reached for comment.

The company’s impressive credentials are posted on its website. Its work has received praise from the Indian Mission in Doha. Ambassador Deepak Mittal has said that the company is doing a “great job” to “build up the capability and capabilities of the Qatar Defense Forces”.

“You are a testimony to the Indian leadership’s vision of partnering with friendly countries and sharing our experiences,” he said.

Past Ambassador Periasamy Kumaran praised the company’s work for “effective demonstration of India’s defence capabilities and creating new opportunities for cooperation and collaboration between the two countries”.

Calls to the phone numbers listed on the company’s website remained unanswered.

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