Amid the India-Maldives diplomatic row, traders' body CAIT on Monday called upon domestic traders and exporters to refrain from conducting business dealings with the island nation.
CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal observed that the offensive comments targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi have been deemed unacceptable by the business community, and this call to boycott aims to express solidarity and register disapproval against such disrespectful behaviour.
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) stated it has "urged traders and exporters to refrain from conducting business dealings with the Maldives".
Khandelwal said the appeal "encourages traders to stand united in sending a strong message against such behaviour by temporarily abstaining from trade engagements with the Maldives".
Khandelwal stressed upon the need for mutual respect in diplomatic discourse and condemned any form of disrespect towards the leaders of friendly nations.
Meanwhile, the Maldivian envoy to India was summoned to the external affairs ministry on Monday and conveyed strong concern over remarks posted on social media against Modi by a number of ministers of the Maldives, sources said.
The government of the Maldives on Sunday suspended three deputy ministers for derogatory social media posts against Modi.
The three deputy ministers criticised the prime minister for his post on X following his visit to Lakshadweep, inferring that it was an attempt to project the Union Territory as an alternative tourist destination to the Maldives.
According to Maldivian media reports, deputy ministers in the youth ministry, Malsha Shareef, Mariyam Shiuna and Abdulla Mahzoom Majid have been suspended for their posts.
Official sources in New Delhi said the Indian high commission in Malé strongly raised the matter with the Maldivian foreign ministry on Sunday.
The disparaging remarks by the ministers have drawn flak in India, with many celebrities urging people on X to explore domestic tourist destinations instead of going to the Maldives.