Mon, 30 Jan 2023

New Delhi [India], December 1 (ANI): India is regularly responding to the case of ex-Indian Navy officers arrested in Qatar as the embassy is actively pursuing the issue, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.

He said that the detained Indians are in touch with family members in India.

"We've been responding to this regularly. Our embassy is actively pursuing the case. We understand that detained Indians are able to speak to their families in India over the telephone now, some of them have families staying in Doha," MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said during the presser.

The MEA spokesperson further added that some detainees have families in Doha and are being allowed to have physical meetings on a weekly basis.

"Those families are being allowed to have physical meetings, at least on a weekly basis. We will continue to extend all possible consular assistance and seek further consular access to these people. As soon as we have some more updates, we'll bring that to you," Bagchi said.

Earlier, among 8 former naval officers detained in Doha, retired commander Punendu Tiwari's sister Dr Meetu Bhargava who lives in Gwalior has sought help from the government to bring her brother back.

In the first week of November, she told ANI, " I tweeted on October 25 and appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bring back my brother who is in illegal detention in Doha, Qatar. My brother is a retired navy commander officer and he went there to provide training to Qatar Navy through his company Dahra Global Consultancy Services".

"There are eight ex-Indian Navy officers, including my brother lying in illegal detention. They were picked up by the Qatar police during the night on August 30. There were no charges against them. Neither the Qatar government told us nor the Indian government has information about any charges imposed on them," she added.

Meanwhile, on being asked about India's stance on ongoing protests in China against the zero-covid policy, the MEA spokesperson avoided the question and said that COVID has affected the world and India hopes that humanity as a whole is able to emerge fully from the disease at the earliest.

"COVID has affected across the world. We'd hope that humanity as a whole is able to emerge fully from COVID at the earliest. COVID strategies that each country may be pursuing, I would not like to get into that. I hope we're able to come out of COVID," Bagchi said during his address.

Responding to the media query on the death of Chinese leader Jiang Zhemin, the MEA Spokesperson said that the embassy in China has conveyed condolences on the demise of Jiang Zemin.

Former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin passed away due to leukaemia and multiple organ failure at the age of 96, state media reported on Wednesday.

Jiang served as general secretary of the Communist Party, as chairman of the Central Military Commission, and as president of China.

The announcement was made by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China (PRC), the state media said.

Jiang's death was announced in a letter addressing the whole Party, the entire military and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups. (ANI)

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