Tanishq store made to apologise for ad

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RAJKOT/NEW DELHI: A Tanishq showroom in Gujarat’s Kutch was forced to put up a note of apology and its staff members had allegedly received threatening calls after the company ran an advertisement of an interfaith couple. On Wednesday, an employee told TOI on the condition of anonymity, “The two persons who had barged inside on Monday were using abusive language too.”
Meanwhile, several BJP members, including Gujarat’s home minister Pradipsinh Jadeja and technology national team in-charge Amit Malviya, strongly denied reports that the showroom had been vandalised. “The news of an attack on a showroom in Gandhidham, Kutch …is TOTALLY FAKE. This is a motivated attempt to adversely impact the law & order & incite violence in Gujarat. I have asked to register a case & take strict action against those who spread this fake news,” Jadeja posted. #FakeNews was one of the top trends in India on Wednesday, with over 41,000 tweets.

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Withdrawing the ad, apparently due to various forms of pressure, sends down a negative message. Trolls will feel further empowered. Such decisions are taken primarily to avoid adverse business consequences. The decision also reflects poorly on the state’s inability to make business houses feel safe when confronted with hotheads.

Tanishq showroom’s owner Prakash Gupta told TOI, “Some people came to us on October 12 saying that the Hindus have been hurt by the advertisement. At that time, I did not know about the advertisement. They demanded an apology and put up the board.” Gupta denied any vandalism at the showroom. No official complaint was lodged.
A video of one, Shamji alias Ramesh Ahir, was widely circulated on social media on Wednesday. Ahir told TOI, “I had gone to the showroom with my cousin, but we did not threaten the owner or employees. I requested them to issue an apology to the Hindu community. I’m a Hindu and the advertisement has hurt our sentiments.” The note in Gujarati pasted on the showroom’s entrance read, “As the advertisement of Tanishq aired on TV is shameful (sic), Gandhidham Tanishq apologises to the entire Hindu community of Kutch.” It was removed later.
Mayur Patil, SP, Kutch (east) told TOI that patrolling was intensified near the showroom after the manager started getting threat calls from Kutch and other parts of Gujarat. News agency ANI quoted Patil as saying that while reports of the store being vandalised were false, the store manager had been threatened over the advertisement.

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