Amazon stops sales of India flag doormat in Canadian website after visa threat

Amazon stops sales of India flag doormat in Canadian website after visa threat

India's foreign minister Sushma Swaraj said "Amazon must tender unconditional apology. "They must withdraw all products insulting our national flag immediately," on Twitter. Photograph: (AFP)

WION Mumbai, Maharashtra, India Jan 12, 2017, 10.54 AM (IST)

India threatened to revoke Amazon's employees visa over the sale of Indian flag on its Canadian website on Wednesday. India's foreign minister Sushma Swaraj said on Twitter "Amazon must tender unconditional apology".

 "They must withdraw all products insulting our national flag immediately."

"If this is not done forthwith, we will not grant Indian Visa to any Amazon official," she added. "We will also rescind the Visas issued earlier."

After the threat was made, Amazon took down the product from the website. A spokeswoman for Amazon said in an email, "The item is no longer available for sale on the site".

Amazon's official account on Twitter had earlier responded to angry customers on Twitter, saying the mats were not being sold on their Indian portal. 

This was brought to the attention of Swaraj who said she had asked the Indian High Commission in Canada to get in touch with Amazon.

Amazon's Canadian website sells doormats styled like countrie's flag but under Indian law desecration of the flag is punishable with fines and imprisonment. Amazon Canada was not in breach of any Canadian law, under which all doormats are allowed.

(WION with inputs from Reuters)

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

Amazon's Canadian portal sells doormats styled like national flags, but under Indian law desecration of the flag is a punishable offence

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