Did Shah Rukh Khan help release Indian Navy personnel from Qatar? Manager clarifies

The Bollywood actor recently visited the Gulf nation, where he visited the prime minister and was guest of honour at the AFC final

By ANI

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Photo: X/SRKUniverse
Photo: X/SRKUniverse

Published: Tue 13 Feb 2024, 5:18 PM

Last updated: Wed 14 Feb 2024, 12:58 PM

Amid superstar Shah Rukh Khan's recent visit to Qatar, several reports claimed that the actor was involved in the release of Indian Navy veterans who were detained by the Middle East nation on espionage charges.

However, on Tuesday, SRK's team issued a statement denying the actor's participation in the matter.

"Regarding the reports concerning Shah Rukh Khan's purported role in the release of India's naval officers from Qatar, the office of Mr Shah Rukh Khan says that any such assertions of his involvement are unfounded, emphasizing the execution of this successful resolution solely rests with the Indian government officials and unequivocally denies Mr Khan's participation in this matter. Additionally, all matters involving diplomacy and statecraft are best executed by our very able leaders. Mr Khan, like many other Indians, is happy that the naval officers are back home safe and wishes them all the best," the statement from the office of SRK read.

SRK's manager Pooja Dadlani also shared the same statement on her Instagram handle, refuting the rumours.

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On December 28, 2023, Qatar's Court of Appeal commuted the death penalty awarded to all eight men in October 2023. The eight Indian nationals were imprisoned in Qatar since October 2022 and were accused of allegedly spying on a submarine programme. The retired naval personnel were sentenced to death by a Qatar court on charges that have not yet been made public officially.

Of the eight former Navy officers, seven have already returned to India, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) informed through an official statement on February 12.

The Union government released an official statement welcoming the decision to set the veteran officers free, saying, "The Government of India welcomes the release of eight Indian nationals working for the Dahra Global company who were detained in Qatar. Seven out of the eight of them have returned to India. We appreciate the decision by the Amir of the State of Qatar to enable the release and home-coming of these nationals."

SRK was in Qatar for work commitments. He also met Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani in Doha. He was welcomed by the leader as he attended the AFC final, where he was the special guest of honour.

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