Union Culture Minister GK Reddy on Sunday said that no orders have been given to conduct excavations at the Qutub Minar in New Delhi, ANI reported.

“No such decision has been taken,” Reddy told the news agency.

The clarification by Reddy came after news reports said that the government had directed the Archaeological Survey of India to conduct excavations at the Qutub Minar complex to ascertain whether the monument had been built by Qutubuddin Aibak or Chandragupta Vikramaditya, The Indian Express reported.

The reports had emerged after Culture Secretary Govind Mohan visited the monument on Saturday. However, the culture ministry said that this was a routine visit.

Mohan had spent over two hours at the monument along with a team of senior officials and historians to discuss aspects related to the upkeep of the Qutub Minar complex, according to The Indian Express.

The team had also visited the site in the complex where two idols of the Hindu deity Ganesha are located.

Last month, the National Monuments Authority had asked the Archaeological Survey of India to retrieve the idols from the complex and move them to the National Museum, The Indian Express reported.

Tarun Vijay, who is also a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party and a former member of the Rajya Sabha, had said that the placement of the idols was disrespectful, as the idols were near the feet of visitors.

However, an advocate named Hari Shankar Jain had filed a petition in a Delhi court on behalf of Jain deity Tirthankar Lord Rishabh Dev, demanding that the idols remain in the complex. In April, the court had directed the Archaeological Survey of India to maintain the status quo till further hearing of the case, according to NDTV.

In his plea, Jain said that the two idols had been situated on the premises since times immemorial. He claimed that the Archaeological Survey of India was likely to move the idols to one of the National Museums as mere artefacts.

Meanwhile, on May 10, members of several Hindutva organisations held a demonstration near the Qutub Minar, demanding that the tower be renamed “Vishnu Stambh” after the Hindu deity.