Hindu Groups Shut KFC, Pizza Hut, Domino's Stores in Gujarat over Kashmir Tweet
The MEA issued a summons to the South Korean ambassador over Hyundai's tweet, stating the post was 'unacceptable'.
The Quint DAILY
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A protest broke out in Gujarat on Saturday following the messages posted by the Pakistani social media handles of Pizza Hut Inc., Domino's Pizza Inc., KFC, Hyundai Motor Co., and Atlas Honda Ltd.
The Twitter accounts linked to the Pakistan subsidiaries of the brands posted messages on 5 February – to coincide with Pakistan's Kashmir Solidarity Day – that showed their support for the people of Kashmir.
The messages caused anger among social media users in India, and members of right-wing outfits forced several stores of the multinational companies in Ahmedabad to shut down.
KFC Pakistan's social media handle post had read, "Their cravings for freedom are heartfelt." Meanwhile, the post from Pizza Hut Pakistan handle said, "This Kashmir Solidarity Day, let's join hands and stand united for the freedom of our Kashmiri brothers and sisters."
‘Action Must Be Taken:’ MEA
The Union Ministry of External Affairs issued a summons to the South Korean ambassador over Hyundai's tweet, stating that the posts were "unacceptable," and "appropriate action must be taken."
"It is also expected that such companies or their affiliates will refrain from false and misleading comments on matters of sovereignty and territorial integrity," the ministry said in a statement.
Indians Called for a Boycott of Hyundai Products in India
The posts have been deleted now, but screenshots of the messages are being shared on social media.
Ahmedabad Bajrang Dal chief Jwalit Mehta led a few members to force the shops of these companies to shut down. "Until these companies apologise and tweet again that Kashmir is an integral part of India, we won't let them do business here," he was quoted as saying by Al Jazeera.
KFC and Domino's in India apologised for their respective posts on Monday. Hyundai India, meanwhile, said it took steps to remove the posts made by an "independently-owned distributor" in Pakistan.
"We deeply apologize for a post that was published on some KFC social media channels outside the country. We honour and respect India, and remain steadfast in our commitment to serving all Indians with pride," read a tweet by KFC India.
Pizza Hut India said that it did not agree with the social media post.
"We remain steadfast in our commitment to serve all our brothers and sisters with pride," a company spokesperson said, stated the media report.
Indian users on Twitter also called for a boycott of Hyundai products in India. The company is India's second-largest car seller after Maruti Suzuki. Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) in a statement said that the "unsolicited social media post linking Hyundai Motor India is offending our unparalleled commitment and service to this great country."
"Hyundai Motor India has been committed to 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. India is second home to the Hyundai brand and we have zero tolerance policy towards insensitive communication and we strongly condemn any such view. As part of our commitment to India, we will continue our efforts towards the betterment of the country as well as its citizens," the statement read.
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