Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh transport department has started cracking down on vehicles displaying castes, religions on windscreens, number plates of four and two-wheelers. An order issued by Additional Transport Commissioner Mukesh Chandra stated that displaying caste identities on cars, bikes will now invite punitive action. Also Read - UP Horror: 50-year-old Widow Raped in Shahjahanpur

Chandra has directed all Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) to immediately seize the vehicle that has caste names like Yadav, Jat, Gurjar, Brahmin, Pandit, Kshatriya, Lodhi and Maurya on its windscreens or number plates. Also Read - 4 UP Information Officers Demoted to Watchmen & Peon After Their Promotions Were Found Illegal

The development comes after PMO took cognizance of the matter following a letter from a teacher in Maharashtra, Harshal Prabhu. Also Read - Liquor to Get Cheaper in Uttar Pradesh as Yogi Govt Approves New Excise Policy | Here’s What You Will Have to Pay

The teacher had written the letter on IGRS, an integrated system designed for redressal of grievances, saying that the display of such stickers is a threat to the social fabric of the society. The PMO took note of the letter and sent it to the Uttar Pradesh government after which such a drive was launched.

In recent years, it has become fashionable to write caste names like Yadav, Jat, Gurjar, Brahmin, Pandit, Kshatriya, Lodhi and Maurya on windscreens or number plates of vehicles in the state. This is essentially done to assert caste identity depending on the party power.

The practice of people displaying their particular caste identities on vehicles, initially, began during the Samajwadi Party regime when writing ‘Yadav’ on the vehicles was considered a status symbol.

Vehicles with ‘Jatav’ stickers became more visible during the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) rule even as such vehicles can be spotted even today in some districts, especially in western Uttar Pradesh. With the Yogi government in power, it is now common for people to flaunt Kshatriya, Thakur, or Rajput (different variants of the same caste) as a label on vehicles.

“According to our enforcement teams, every 20th vehicle is found carrying such a sticker. Our headquarters has asked us to take action against such vehicle owners,” said D.K. Tripathi, deputy transport commissioner, Kanpur.

(With IANS inputs)