Two days ago, three Hindu Mahasabha activists, including a woman, were arrested while trying to offer prayers on Taj Mahal premises. In a surprising claim made by BJP MLA Surendra Singh from Bairia constituency in Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh, the minister said Taj Mahal will soon be renamed as Ram Mahal. Singh was talking to reporters on Saturday where he said that Taj Mahal used to be a temple of Lord Shiva and that it will soon be renamed during UP CM Yogi' Adityanath's term.

"Taj Mahal was a Shiva temple and it will be renamed as Ram Mahal," Singh told reporters, reiterating his claim on the plan to renaming the immense mausoleum of white marble.

"Shivaji's descendants have arrived in the land of Uttar Pradesh. Just as Samarth Guru Ramdas gave Shivaji to India, similarly Gorakhnath ji has given Yogi Adityanath to Uttar Pradesh," said Singh.

Taj Mahal
In picture: Taj Mahal.Creative Commons

Earlier, Singh had demanded Taj Mahal be renamed to Ram Mahal or Krishna Mahal to give the monument an Indian identity.

Hindus arrested in Taj Mahal for praying

On Thursday, three Hindu Mahasabha activists were caught by CISF personnel and handed over to local police, which booked them under IPC section 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on the ground religion, etc) at Tajganj police station.

Taj Mahal
Creative Commons

The three activists, Meena Diwakar, provincial chief of the organisation, district in-charge Jitendra Kushwaha and one Vishal Singh entered the monument's premises and offered water, which they carried in a bottle, to Lord Sun near a central tank. On the occasion of Maha Shivratri on Thursday. They were caught by CISF personnel when they were going to offer prayers before the main mausoleum.

This was the second such incident in the last three years. In November 2018, a group of women activists performed puja in the mosque, located on the Taj Mahal premises. The organisation claims that Taj Mahal was originally a Shiva temple and was called Tejo Mahalaya.

(With additional inputs from IANS)