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Harbhajan Singh-Geeta Basra wedding: Controversies you need to know

Rohan Raj | Updated on: 13 February 2017, 7:27 IST

Veteran Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh has had a great year so far. The off-spinner recently made a comeback in the Indian cricket team and looked effective for his side in probably the last phase of his international career.

In the absence of India's premier spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, Singh bowled in tandem with Amit Mishra and Axar Patel during the ODI series against South Africa. In the four matches he played, Bhajji took six wickets in the 40 overs he bowled to emerge as the second-highest wicket-taker behind Bhuvneshwar Kumar (7) for India.

If his cricket career was finally turning around, the announcement of his wedding with his long-time girlfriend Geeta Basra seemed like the icing on the cake for the 'Turbanator'.

Singh has been hogging headlines of late with his grand wedding and a high-profile reception - which is likely to be attended by a number of prominent personalities.

Geeta Basra and Harbhajan Singh_PTI

The celebrations however, were not without a few hiccups. Bhajji's wedding ceremony has already seen its fair share of controversies varying from a dharna, violence and protest outside his residence in Jalandhar.

Mediapersons manhandled

On 29 October, during the Harbhajan Singh-Geeta Basra wedding ceremony, the bouncers hired by the Indian cricketer allegedly snatched and smashed cameras from photo journalists who had come to Jalandhar to cover the high-profile event.

According to media reports, the bouncers also allegedly manhandled the media persons who later sat on dharna outside the wedding venue. In order to take care of the situation, Singh spoke to all journalists and apologising for the ruckus created.

A police case has also been registered against the bouncers - Navjot, Kuldeep, Ravi and Babloo - under sections 379B (punishment for theft), 427 (mischief causing damage) and 596 of the IPC. The bouncers were later sent to judicial custody.

Complaint against Bhajji at Akal Takht

If the case against Harbhajan's bouncers was not enough, a senior Youth Akali Dal leader Jarnail Singh Gardiwal filed a complaint against the Indian off-spinner at the Akal Takht - the highest seat of power of the Sikh religion.

In his complaint, Gardiwal has alleged that Harbhajan prevented devotees from entering the gurudwara at the Guru Nanak Mission Netraheen Vridh Ashram during his wedding ceremony on 29 October. Alleging that the offence amounts to hurting the religious sentiments of the Sikh community, Gardiwal has asked the Takht to summon Harbhajan and direct him to apologise to the Sikh community.

Tobacco served at the wedding

Harbhajan Singh also drew heavy criticism from Sikh organisations, who have claimed that 113 types of tobacco were served at his high-profile wedding. Media reports suggest that tobacco and hookah were served aplenty at the cricketer's wedding, promptly causing anger among Sikh groups.

Sikhism forbids the consumption of tobacco and alcohol and Sikh organisations in the past have been quite stringent about these principles. The Sikh organisations have also demanded action against the Indian cricketer while threatening to file a complaint with the Akal Takht.

First published: 1 November 2015, 4:42 IST
Rohan Raj @ro4an_raj

After a poor stint in gully-cricket quashed his hopes of turning pro, Rohan moved away from the playing field and began criticising those who were still on it. Football eases his mind and watching City paint Manchester blue is his elusive dream. When not talking, thinking or dreaming about sports, Rohan can be found listening to EDM or watching movies. A sports correspondent at Catch News, he has previously worked with Hindustan Times, Daily Bhaskar and India Today.