Lucknow, Dec 6: Controversial ex-Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board chairman Waseem Rizvi, who was recently excommunicated from Islam by the Shia clerics, converted to Hinduism on Monday.
Rizvi, who was often in the news for criticising the Sharia and Muslim clerics and was considered close to the BJP, converted at a temple at Dasna in UP's Ghaziabad district. Rizvi later said that he had changed his name to Jitendra Narayan Singh Tyagi.
Rizvi converted amid chanting of Vedic mantras and rituals performed by the head of the Narsimhananda Sarswati temple.
Speaking to reporters after converting, Rizvi alias Jitendra said that the 'Sanatan Dharma' was the 'best' religion in the world. "I have been excommunicated from Islam...the Muslim clerics had issued fatwa to behead me. I am free to convert to any religion I wish, and no one should have any objection to it," he added.
Rizvi had recently released his will stating that he wished to be cremated and not buried after his death. "I would like to be cremated in accordance with the Hindu traditions," he had said in his Will.
Rizvi had earned the wrath of the Muslim clerics after he had sought removal some couplets of the Quran and filed a petition in the court claiming that they were against the humanity as they supported terrorism.
Although his petition was rejected by the court, he authored a book on Islam in which he did not include 26 verses of the Quran. A police complaint was also filed against Rizvi by AIMIM chief Asauddin Owaisi in Hyderabad in this regard.