Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj
Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj in a file photoReuters

Amazon has pulled down Indian-flag themed doormats from its Canadian site following a warning from External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj that its employees would not be granted visas if it did not tender and apology and removed all products disrespecting India.

Swaraj took to Twitter and demanded an apology from Amazon. She wrote, "Amazon must tender unconditional apology. They must withdraw all products insulting our national flag immediately."

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

A spokesperson for Amazon told The Washington Post that the product is no longer available for sale on its website. The doormats depicting the Indian flag sold on the Canadian site were manufactured by Mayers Flag Doormats and XLYL.

A picture of the doormats was tweeted to Swaraj by a user after which she told for the Indian High Commission in Canada, "This is unacceptable. Please take this up with Amazon at the highest level."

A spokesperson for Indian foreign ministry said that action has already been taken. In a text message, Vikas Swarup told Bloomberg, "Our Mission in Ottawa took up the matter with Amazon Canada. They are no longer selling that item."

Amazon is to invest $5bn (£4bn) in India to take on domestic e-commerce sites such as Flipkart and Snapdeal. Earlier, Amazon official had replied to angry tweets on their official account and said that the mats were not being sold on their Indian portal and that senior officials were looking into the matter.