Amazon Apologises To Sushma Swaraj

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New Delhi:  A day after Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj’s stern warning to Amazon, the e-commerce giant has apologized for the sale of Indian flag-themed doormats on its Canadian website.

“Amazon India is committed to respecting Indian laws and customs. To the extent that these items offered by a third-party seller in Canada offended Indian sensibilities, Amazon regrets the same. At no time did we intend or mean to offend Indian sentiments,” Amazon India vice president Amit Agarwal wrote to Ms Swaraj.

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Last night, Amazon had dropped the Indian flag-themed doormats from its website. On Wednesday, Sushma Swaraj had said in tweets that Amazon must apologise unconditionally and withdraw all products insulting the flag or Amazon officials would not be granted Indian visas.

“Amazon must tender unconditional apology. They must withdraw all products insulting our national flag immediately,” the External Affairs Minister had tweeted.

“If this is not done forthwith, we will not grant Indian Visa to any Amazon official. We will also rescind the Visas issued earlier,” she said in another tweet.

Her strong reaction had come after a Twitter user sent her a screen-grab of doormats featuring the flag on sale on Amazon Canada.

The offending products were on offer by two vendors. Under India’s law, any desecration of the flag is punishable with fines and imprisonment.

Amazon has vowed to invest more than $5 billion in India as it takes on home-grown Flipkart and Snapdeal for a bigger share of the rapidly growing e-commerce market.

Amazon’s official support account on Twitter had earlier responded to angry user comments on Twitter by saying the mats were not being sold on their Indian portal and the concerns had been escalated.

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