Sushma seeks report from Indian envoy to Qatar on Indians on death row

New Delhi, Jan 7 (IANS) External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday sought a report from the Indian Ambassador in Qatar on two Indian nationals who were awarded the death penalty in the Gulf country last year.

“I have asked for a report from Indian Ambassador in Qatar,” the Minister said in a tweet.

She was responding to a tweet from @bkanagaraja, a Twitter user, requesting her to save Subramaniam Alagappa and Chelladurai Perumal, two Indians sentenced to death by the Supreme Court in Qatar.

In an open letter to the Prime Minister and External Affairs Minister, uploaded on the public forum, change.org, H. Vasanthakumar, Member of Legislative Assembly from Nanguneri in Tamil Nadu, said, “Two Innocent Indian Nationals namely Alagappa Subramaniam and Chelladurai Perumal have been sentenced to death by the Court of Cassation (Supreme Court) in Qatar.”

He requested the Prime Minister and External Affairs Minister for immediate and “direct intervention with the Ruler of Qatar” for their safe return to India.

“If these Indian nationals were not released and sent back to India safely, I will organise indefinite protest before the Qatar Embassy in Delhi and Qatar Consulate in Mumbai,” Vasanthakumar added.

On December 8, the ministry, in its weekly media briefing, had said, “Subramanian Alagappa and Chelladurai Perumal continue to remain on death row. The third convict, Shivakumar Archunan, his case was reviewed by the appeals court and his death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.”

“We had filed a case in respect of all three because we believe that the penalty is too harsh… Our Embassy in Qatar continues to closely monitor this case in association with the lawyer who has been appointed for all three accused,” official ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup added.

–IANS

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