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The Bhantu are a Hindu caste found in Uttar Pradesh, where they have scheduled caste status.


In Hindi the word Bhantu Samaj is said to mean different.[clarification needed] They were one of the many nomadic groups in found in North India. The Bhantu claim to be Rajput soldiers in the army of Maharana Pratap, who after his defeat at the hands of the Mughal Emperor Akbar dispersed into forests. Their the community took up dacoity and theft. During the period of British, they were notified under the Criminal Tribes Act. Many were exiled to the Andaman Islands. In 1952, they were allowed to return to Uttar Pradesh, and many were settled in Shekhupur village in Badaun District. They are now found mainly in the districts of Moradabad, Kanpur, and Kheri.[1]

Present circumstances[edit]

The community consists of eight exogamous clans, the Gaado, Dholia, Cherele, Banswale, Dhapan, Sadheke, Mina and Marwari. Marriages are strictly prohibited within the clans.[1]

The Bhantu were traditionally a nomadic community involved with in dacoity and robbery. Most Bhantus are now settled, and are employed in goverment services. A small number are petty traders as well. The community is Hindu, and their tribal deity is Sherawali Mataji.[citation needed]

The 2011 Census of India for Uttar Pradesh, where they were classified as a Scheduled Caste, showed the Bhantu population as 11,807.[2]


  1. ^ a b People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part One edited by A Hasan & J C Das pages 263 to 267 Manohar Publications
  2. ^ "A-10 Individual Scheduled Caste Primary Census Abstract Data and its Appendix - Uttar Pradesh". Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 2017-02-04.