MEA says it will continue to provide all consular and legal assistance to Indians. (File)

New Delhi:

As eight former Indian Navy personnel were awarded death penalty in Qatar, the Congress on Thursday said it expects the Center to use its diplomatic and political leverage with the Qatari government to ensure that Indians have full recourse to appeal and will do their utmost to ensure that they are released.

The Indian nationals, all employees of the Al Dahra company, were taken into custody in August last year in a suspected espionage case. The allegations made against the Indian nationals were not made public by the Qatari authorities.

In its reaction, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) described the verdict as “deeply” shocking and said it attaches “high importance” to this case and is exploring all legal options.

Jairam Ramesh, General Secretary, Communications, Congress, said in a post on “It (Congress) hopes and expects that the Government of India will use its diplomatic and political influence to the maximum with the Government of Qatar to ensure that the officials have full access to it Jairam Ramesh said:

The MEA has said it will continue to provide all consular and legal assistance to Indians.

“We attach great importance to this case and are following it closely. We will continue to provide all consular and legal assistance. We will also discuss the verdict with the Qatari authorities,” it said in a statement.

“Due to the confidential nature of the proceedings in this case, it would not be appropriate to provide further comment at this point,” it added.

The Indian ambassador to Qatar met the men in prison on October 1 after being granted consular access.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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