New Delhi: Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh has apologised after he faced mounting criticism for praising Khalistani terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and others in an Instagram story Sunday.
In a clarification posted Monday, Singh tweeted: “I just wish to clarify and apologise for an Instagram post yesterday. It was a WhatsApp forward that I posted in a haste…(sic).”
He added that he does not subscribe to the views in the post and “will never support anything that is anti-India”.
My heartfelt apology to my people..🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/S44cszY7lh
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) June 7, 2021
Marking 37 years since Operation Blue Star, in which Bhindranwale and others were killed inside the Golden Temple, the cricketer posted an image of Bhindranwale and others with the caption: “Pranaam shaheeda nu (salute to the martyrs)”.
The image was accompanied by text in Punjabi that read: “Heartfelt tribute to those martyred in Operation inside Shri Harmandir Sahib on June 1- June 6, 1984.”
A legendary spin bowler, Singh made his ODI and Test debuts in 1998 and last represented India in the 2016 Asia Cup T20 International where he played only one match against the UAE. He was also part of the IPL with Mumbai Indians for 10 seasons. He won three titles before being bought by Chennai Super Kings in 2018. He, however, opted out of the 2020 IPL in the UAE due to personal reasons.
In 2002, the Punjab government offered the cricketer a post as deputy superintendent of police, but Singh never took up the offer.
Twitter users hit out at ‘shameful’ post
The 40-year-old received flak online for glorifying a terrorist, with many calling his social media post “shameful” and others saying they have “lost respect” for him.
One Twitter user wrote: “So @harbhajan_singh not only praised a declared terrorist, but praised someone who wanted India to be partitioned again & have killed Hindus in large number.”
So @harbhajan_singh not only praised a declared terroríst, but praised someone who wanted India to be partitioned again & have kÍlled Hindus in large number. Shameful!
— Shashank Shekhar Jha 🇮🇳 (@shashank_ssj) June 7, 2021
Have lost respect for Harbhajan Singh.
I was shocked when he tweeted in support of Shahid Adridi earlier. Good that he apologised for it.
He should withdraw and say sorry for eulogising Jarnail Bhindranwale, who was a hardcore terrorist.
No Indian supports Bhindranwale. pic.twitter.com/tV311oU3KW
— Soumyadipta (@Soumyadipta) June 7, 2021
Others vowed not to view his commentary during IPL or any other cricket tournaments.
If Harbhajan singh still continues to do commentary in IPL or other cricket tournaments, personally I will have nothing to do with cricket anymore.
— अंकित जैन (@indiantweeter) June 7, 2021
“I used to cheer for @harbhajan_singh when i was a kid. Shame on me,” a Twitter user by the name of Rahul Kr. Sr. wrote.
— Rahul Kr. Sr. (@BiharKaLall) June 7, 2021
Also read: A bloody miscalculation called Blue Star