A Delhi-based Supreme Court lawyer on Tuesday wrote to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal seeking de-registration of Hyundai India, KIA India, KFC India and Pizza Hut India over their offensive statements on social media regarding the union territory Jammu and Kashmir.
“Recently, the said companies have posted on their social media accounts offensive statements and posts challenging the sovereignty of our country,” Advocate Vineet Jindal wrote in his letter.
On February 5, Hyundai Pakistan called for the ‘freedom of Kashmir from India’ through its official Twitter channel in Pakistan. The day is observed by Pakistan as the ‘Kashmir solidarity day’.
The Bharatiya Twitter users, livid after this obnoxious propaganda by Pakistan, began criticising Hyundai on social media, forcing the parent company to issue a response.
“Hyundai Motor India has been committed to the Indian market for more than 25 years now and we stand firmly for our strong ethos of respecting nationalism. The unsolicited social media post linking Hyundai Motor India is offending our unparalleled commitment and service to this great country. We have a zero-tolerance policy towards insensitive communication and we strongly condemn any such view,” the statement from Hyundai read.
Not only Hyundai but its subsidiary Kia too had tweeted similar things.
Pizza hut Pakistan shared a post on its Instagram account that read, “This Kashmir solidarity day, let’s join hands and stand united for the freedom of our Kashmiri brothers and sisters.”
KFC PAK also made a similar Twitter missive.
Jindal told IANS that the statement made by Hyundai India is a mere condemnation of its own act and does not support the acceptance of the offence and the statement is not an apology for the grave offence made publically.
The Advocate also sought an immediate registration of an FIR under sections 121A, 153, 153a, 504, 505 of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act . He has also forwarded his letter to Delhi Police commissioner Rakesh Asthana.
Jindal said that the controversial post targeting the sovereignty of Bharat’s by these multinational companies to gain business profit in Pakistan is highly deplorable. “These MNC’s have intentionally made atrocious statements on public platforms accessed by millions of users to challenge the sovereignty and integrity of India and their act can cause national riots, communal disharmony and is an act of waging war against India,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi took up the issue in Parliament and without naming any company said the content “they have posted on their platforms calls for freedom for Kashmir.”
“These companies are doing business both in Bharat and Pakistan, yet have posted content in solidarity with Pakistan over Kashmir. Such posts that are challenging the sovereignty of our country should not be acceptable. It has been surprising that it has been ignored till now. And also keeping in mind that these companies have been flourishing in Bharat for the past many years yet choosing to take stances that are contentious is unacceptable,” the Parliamentarian said.
Chaturvedi demanded that the government should ensure that these companies apologise unequivocally for the seditious posts and “further ensure that companies operating in Bharat do not challenge the sovereignty of the country.”
Responding to Shiv Sena MP’s demand, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said the government has asked the company to be more forceful in unequivocal apology.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with minor edits to conform to Hindu-Post style-guide.)