Amritsar: Sangrur MP Simranjit Singh Mann came under fire from Punjab parties on Friday for calling freedom fighter Bhagat Singh a “terrorist”. While Punjab minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer said AAP might initiate legal action against Mann, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said the MP had lowered the image of Sikhs all over the world, PTI reported.

The controversy erupted after reporters in Karnal asked Mann why he had in the past referred to Bhagat Singh as a “terrorist” when he was a legendary martyr.

“Try to understand, Sardar Bhagat Singh had killed a young English officer, he had killed an Amritdhari Sikh constable, Channan Singh. He had hurled a bomb into the National Assembly at that time. Now, you tell me whether Bhagat Singh was a terrorist or not,” Mann had said in Karnal.

Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer, who is the Minister for Higher Education, demanded an unconditional apology from Mann.

The minister said AAP was a democratic party and if required it would initiate legal action against Mann “for disrespecting martyr Bhagat Singh and hurting the sentiments of countless Punjabis who hold him in high regard”.

“A newly elected MP has disrespected the sacrifices of legendary martyr Shaheed Bhagat Singh, who laid down his life for the independence of the country,” PTI quoted Hayer as saying.

Hayer said not only Punjab, but the whole nation was proud of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev for sacrificing their lives at a very young age for the country.

“Indians are able to breathe in a free nation because these men sacrificed their present for our future. But Simranjit Mann regrettably does not respect a national hero,” said Hayer.

Hayer said the AAP government would bestow martyr status on Bhagat Singh for the sacrifice he made for the sake of country’s freedom.

“I want to make it clear with full responsibility that the Punjab government will bestow martyr status to Bhagat Singh,” he further said.

Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal also slammed Simranjit Singh Mann for his remarks.

“Every Sikh, every Punjabi & every Indian is proud of Shaheed-e-Azam S Bhagat Singh. Every Sikh treats him as a symbol of our quom’s unprecedented contribution to the freedom struggle. @SimranjitSADA is trying to undermine this pride & lower the image of Sikhs all over the world,” Badal tweeted— (PTI)