The controversial former chairman of the Shia Waqf Board Wasim Rizvi on Monday, converted to Sanatan Dharm at a religious ceremony performed at the Dasna temple of Ghaziabad.
The rituals were conducted by the priest of the temple, Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati, who is also the Mahamandleshwar of the influential Juna Akhada. After the ceremony, Mr. Rizvi was renamed as Jitendra Narayan Singh Tyagi.
Mr Tyagi said it was his choice what religion to follow. “I was being pushed out of Islam. There was prize money on my head. So, I opted to embrace the oldest religion of the world.”
The former Waqf official was in the news for filing a petition in the Supreme Court demanding the removal of 26 verses from the Koran, which he alleged taught violence.
While Muslim clerics flayed the move, the top court threw out his petition and imposed a penalty of ₹50,000 on him, describing his petition as “absolutely frivolous.”
Later, he wrote a controversial book on the Prophet Muhammad that also faced the ire of clerics. Since then, Mr Tyagi has claimed that his life was under threat.
Mr. Narsinghanand Saraswati, who is known for his hate speech against Islam, said Mr Tyagi had approached him in November for embracing Santana Dharm and had said he wanted his body to be cremated after death.