Amazon and Flipkart challenged in India over sale of acid on sites

Smartphone with Flipkart logo is seen in front of displayed Amazon logo in this illustration taken, July 30, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

MUMBAI, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Amazon (AMZN.O) and Walmart's (WMT.N) Flipkart have been issued with notices by an Indian government body asking why dangerous acids are available on their sites after a schoolgirl was the victim of an acid attack.

The Delhi Commission for Women, a local body that looks after women's issues, said in the notice that it had learned the accused in the acid attack had bought the material from Walmart's (WMT.N) Flipkart.

Hours after the notice was issued, Flipkart said it had blacklisted the seller of the product used, and was extending all support to authorities in their investigation.

"The Flipkart marketplace platform closely monitors and delists products that violate expected standards," the company said in a statement issued late on Thursday.

A spokesperson for Amazon did not respond to a Reuters request for comment. Reuters could not immediately corroborate if the acid was available on its websites.

In a similarly worded notice issued to both Amazon and Flipkart issued early on Thursday, the commission asked both companies to explain the reasons for the availability of acid and name the sellers who sold such products on their e-commerce website.

"The easy availability of acid on online platforms is a matter of grave concern and needs to be checked urgently," the commission said in the notice.

Local media reported on Thursday that a seventeen-year old schoolgirl was in hospital with serious burn injuries after three men attacked her with acid. The three men have been arrested by police in the Indian capital.

Reporting by Shilpa Jamkhandikar; Editing by Jan Harvey

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