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PM Modi Didn’t Bring Back Indian Prisoners From Qatar, Ramzan Did

The Twitter handle of the person who made fun of PM Narendra Modi over Sushma Swaraj’s claims has been suspended.

Updated
India
2 min read
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani in Qatar. (Photo Courtesy: <a href="https://twitter.com/narendramodi/status/739423977697869824">Twitter/@NarendraModi</a>)

Just a couple of days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Doha, 23 Indian prisoners in Qatar were released. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj – and the Indian media – swiftly reacting to the news, gave all the credit to Modi.

But was it his doing? Apparently not.

Qatar releases international prisoners on two occasions annually, Ramzan and its National Day. Prisoners from various countries are released and sent to the deportation centre before they reach their home countries.

This year, the month of Ramzan (or Ramadan) started on Monday in the Middle Eastern countries and on Tuesday in India. And, accordingly, Qatar released Indian prisoners on date.

In July 2015 – which marked the beginning of the month of Ramzan – as well, Indian prisoners were released as a part of the annual custom.

In July 2014, 14 Indian prisoners in Qatar were released at the beginning of the month of Ramzan by the Emir.

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Sushma Swaraj’s Gaffe

Incidentally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Qatar on Tuesday, 7 June. Modi thanked the Emir of Qatar for his “special gesture to mark the start of a special month.”

But Swaraj gave credit to Modi for Qatar’s action.

Stanly Johny, the International Affairs Editor for The Hindu, was one of the few people who pointed this out.

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Twitter Had a Field Day

Not many noticed at first, but those who did had a field day. So much so that a Twitter handle of a user, who repeatedly made fun of Swaraj’s claim, had to be suspended. But the widely used art of screenshot saved the day.

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