New Delhi: The Confederation for All India Traders (CAIT) has demanded that sedition proceedings be initiated against e-commerce company Flipkart, which Friday told a customer in Nagaland that it didn’t provide services in the state since the location was “outside India”.
A press statement by CAIT said that it would take up the “serious matter” with Home Minister Amit Shah.
The Confederation’s Secretary General, Praveen Khandelwal said, “It is highly shocking and unbelievable. By calling Nagaland ‘outside India’, Flipkart has not only disrespected the sentiments of the people of Nagaland and the North-East, but also hurt every Indian.”
He also tweeted about it, calling the comment a “shameful act”.
PM Shri @narendramodi & HM Shri @AmitShah . We @CAITIndia demand sedition proceedings against #Flipkart for calling Nagaland as a part outside India. It’s a shameful act challenging sovereignty of India. N@yogrishiramdev @Wangchuk66 pic.twitter.com/487ni4S9LA
— Praveen Khandelwal (@praveendel) October 10, 2020
In its statement, CAIT said, “…tomorrow they can call Leh Ladakh as a part outside India. The statement of Flipkart has challenged the sovereignty of India which can’t be tolerated.” It added that “no apology can be accepted for such a grave and erroneous statement which only an enemy can make.”
The e-commerce company found itself in the midst of this controversy when, after it advertised its “Big Billion sale,” a customer from Kohima asked on Flipkart’s Facebook page why the website was not delivering products in Nagaland.
Responding to the query, Flipkart’s official handle said, “Sorry to hear that. We appreciate your interest in shopping with us. However, sellers do not provide our services outside India.”
While Flipkart, following immediate backlash on social media, later deleted the comment and apologised for the faux pas, users had already taken screenshots, which were widely shared on social media.
“We are extremely sorry about the inadvertent error earlier. We strive to ensure serviceability across the nation, including regions in Nagaland. We are happy to connect with you and provide currently available options…” the company posted on Facebook.
However, CAIT has said that the Flipkart employee’s comment cannot be excused as being a “personal view”, and that it instead appears they would have been “tutored” by some senior. “It also depict the mindset of the company towards far flung areas of the Country where they are not beneficial for providing seller services,” it said.