Sambhal: Barber community takes on 'casteism' menace within village

| Updated: May 16, 2017 20:14 IST

Sambhal (Uttar Pradesh) [India], May 16 (ANI): Fatepur village barbers in Sambhal have chosen their own authentic way to counter inter-caste conflicts in their village by refusing to tend to their customers for the past two months. The village had been facing infighting amongst the upper and lower castes and surging tension ultimately broke out in physical brawling and FIR. The situation escalated rapidly after two young men, Viresh Balmiki and Suresh Balmiki from the lower caste Balmiki community approached Asif, who had recently opened his shop, for his hair dressing services. Unaware that the Balmiki community is strictly prohibited from shaving and hair dressing in shops, the shopkeeper tended to the men. This resulted in a backlash from the upper-caste community following which Asif, the shop owner stopped catering to the Balmiki community. Several of the lower caste community spoke up about the discrimination. "We are of the lower caste and that's why they don't allow us to shave or cut hair in shops. Then some upper caste people pressurized and halted the service for us. We have to travel 12km to cut get our hair cut," Ankit Balmiki resident of Fatehpur, told ANI. Vinesh Kumar Balmiki who registered a police complaint against the discrimination following a brawl with the hair dresser said, "They refuse to cut our hair because of our caste. We don't have money to call them home and get it done. " The barbers of the village have halted their services under the conflicting pressures in the village forcing everyone to travel great lengths for their hair cuts. (ANI)