India warns Amazon over alleged insults to flag

Updated 11 January 2017
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India warns Amazon over alleged insults to flag

NEW DELHI: India on Wednesday sought an apology from Amazon for selling “insulting” doormats featuring its national flag and threatened to bar foreigners working for the e-commerce giant from entering the country unless the products were withdrawn.
Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj slammed the company in a series of tweets, calling the sale of doormats featuring the Indian flag on Amazon’s Canadian website an “unacceptable” insult to the country.
“Amazon must tender unconditional apology. They must withdraw all products insulting our national flag immediately,” Swaraj said on Twitter.
“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.
The row erupted after a Twitter user sent Swaraj a screengrab of the doormats on sale.
There was no immediate reaction from the global e-retailer, which also sells merchandise featuring the flags of other countries including Canada, the United States and Britain.
Amazon has made steady inroads in India, with plans to invest $5 billion in the country since entering the cut-throat, rapidly growing e-commerce market in 2013.


Indian court finds spiritual guru guilty of raping devotee

Updated 25 April 2018
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Indian court finds spiritual guru guilty of raping devotee

NEW DELHI: An Indian court on Wednesday found a high-profile spiritual guru Asaram Bapu guilty of raping a teenage female devotee in 2013 and he faces a maximum of life in prison.
The verdict against 77-year-old Bapu was read out inside a prison in the city of Jodhpur in Rajasthan state because of fears that his followers may resort to violence.
The case is the latest in a series of high-profile rape cases in India that have fueled public protests and raised questions about how police handle the cases and treat the victims.
In August last year, another popular and flamboyant Indian spiritual guru, Dr. Saint Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim Insan, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on charges of raping two female followers.
Judge Madhusudhan Sharma will announce the prison term for Bapu later after hearing arguments from the prosecution and Bapu’s attorneys.
Bapu has denied the rape and can appeal his conviction in a higher court.
The girl in her complaint to the police in 2013 accused Bapu of raping her when she visited his retreat in Jodhpur with her mother. The girl’s family said they had been followers of Bapu for more than a decade.
Bapu has been in prison since his arrest in the case in 2013.
On Wednesday, security was tight around the prison complex and in states where the self-styled guru has a considerable following.
Religious sects also wield considerable political clout in India with several politicians as followers. Asaram is also on trial along with his son Narayan Sai in a separate rape case where two sisters have accused the two men of sexual assault.