By Jon O’BrienNew Delhi:A group of people is suing Amazon over its use of “tear-gassing” towels in India.
Amazon has denied the allegations, saying the towels are used to disinfect water in a hospital and not for bathing.
The case has sparked a debate in India over whether the company should be allowed to use its products in public places.
India has a strict bathing ban and strict hygiene laws, with many people taking the towels home with them to shower and use the toilet.
India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, has said he would seek the removal of the restrictions if his government becomes the country’s next government.
The group suing Amazon has been led by a lawyer from Mumbai, which has been hit hard by the floods.
A statement from the lawyers said they wanted the court to lift the ban and allow Amazon to use the towels as needed.
“It is our belief that a court should not allow Amazon, one of the largest e-commerce companies in the world, to use this product in public spaces and to profit from it, even if the product is used in an essential service,” the statement said.
Amazon denied the claims.
“These towels are designed to be used in hospitals, not in public baths.
Amazon has never used them to disinfect public water, nor is it responsible for the pollution it creates,” the company said in a statement.
India is one of Amazon’s biggest markets, accounting for a quarter of its annual sales.
The lawsuit claims that Amazon’s towels were not made with any type of filtration system and were not sterilised.
“We have submitted a complaint to the Information Technology and Research Ministry (ITMR), which is investigating the allegations of these towels being used for bathing,” said an Amazon spokesman.
“The towels are sold through Amazon India in over 200 countries around the globe, and Amazon India is committed to providing the best service for our customers, both within India and internationally.”