Tirumala (Andhra Pradesh), October 28 : Barbers on Thursday staged a protest due to harassment by the vigilance staff at Kalyankattas in Tirumala, said the officials.
TTD Vigilance Wing officials have been conducting surprise raids in all the Kalyanakattas in Tirumala for the past few days after receiving complaints from devotees that some barbers are demanding money from the devotees in violation of the TTD ban.
When devotees reach Tirumala for the darshan of Srivari, many of the devotees offer talaneelalu (hair) to the Lord as a part of paying their prayers. In this way, most of the devotees who offer their hair generally give a lot of money to the barbers after offering their hair.
More than 300 barbers working in the main Kalyanakatta and 10 mini Kalyanakatta boycotted their duties.
The barbers alleged that the vigilance staff in the name of Tanikhis have been misbehaving and abusing them.
The temple officials said that there has been a shortage of barbers in Kalyanakattas. Due to the protest, the devotees have to wait for hours. At present, only permanent barbers are performing duties in Kalyana Katta.
As the barbers got agitated at the Kalyana Katta hall, the police, along with the TTD vigilance, reached the Kalayankatta hall and tried to pacify them. The barbers told the security officials that they would attend the parties only if the vigilance attacks stops.