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India has threatened Amazon with denial and revocation of visas issued to its executives, due to sale of doormats featuring the Indian flag on its Canadian website. Amazon

In India, the national flag is taken very seriously and its desecration is punishable with imprisonment and fines. And e-commerce giant Amazon has stirred up a controversy in the country over some products being sold on its platform in Canada.

India's foreign minister Sushma Swaraj was made aware of doormats featuring the Indian flag being sold on Amazon’s Canadian site by Twitter user Atul Bhobe. On Wednesday, Swaraj tweeted, asking the Indian High Commission in Canada to “take this issue up immediately with Amazon at the highest level,” and called for Amazon to tender an “unconditional apology” and withdraw the doormats from their site immediately. She also threatened the company with denial and recall of visas to India.

Amazon offers a variety of patriotic doormats, such as those featuring the U.S. flag, the Canadian flag or the Union Jack. But doormats with the Indian flag violate the Flag Code of India, 2002 — a comprehensive law about the Indian flag. According to the law, the Indian flag cannot be allowed to touch the floor, trampled on, or even printed on any cloth material apart from the one used for the flag itself.

Following protests, the doormats featuring the Indian flag were removed from Amazon’s Canadian site, the Hindustan Times reported. Each product page had infuriating comments from Indians criticizing the company.

In June 2016, Amazon had found itself in another controversy over sales of doormats in India, which showed Hindu gods and the Holy Quran. At the time, many in the country had called for a boycott of Amazon, and the company had quickly removed the listing for those products.

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