Eight former officers of the Indian Navy were arrested in Qatar on suspicion of spying for Israel, Qatari media recently reported.
According to the report, a high-ranking official from India was sent to the Qatari capital of Doha last month amid efforts to secure their release.
The men were reportedly hired by a private company that trains members of the Qatari Navy.
On Sunday, Indian media reported that the country's embassy in Doha was making "all possible efforts" to release the former officers who were "mysteriously detained" nearly three months ago.
“We are aware of the detention of eight Indian nationals who we understand were working for a private company in Qatar,” the spokesperson of India's Foreign Ministry Arindam Bagchi told reporters without providing any information on the charges against the former officers.
According to the New Indian Express, all of them were working for a firm called Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy. One of the men detained was believed to be Commander Purnendu Tiwari, the managing director of the company.
They were allegedly engaged in providing training to the Qatari Navy and have been residing in Doha for the past five years. They were arrested in their homes in the middle of the night by Qatar's State Security Bureau and have not been in touch with anyone since August 30, the report stated.
The detained officials were granted one consular visit on October 3, which revealed that they have been kept in solitary confinement and were "undergoing extreme mental harassment."
“We have requested another round of consular access and we are following up with Qatari authorities,” Bagchi said, adding that the detained officers have spoken to their families, "on a few occasions."
Reprinted with permission from i24NEWS.