Vehicles displaying caste identities in Uttar Pradesh will now invite punitive action and will be seized, according to an official order.

An order dated December 24 was sent by Uttar Pradesh Additional Transport Commissioner Mukesh Chandra to all Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) of the states asking them to seize all vehicles displaying caste identities.

According to the order copy, the transport department took the decision after one Harshal Prabhu of Kalyan, Maharashtra urged the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to direct all the states to take punitive actions and seize vehicles displaying caste identities.

“You are ordered to ensure the action immediately as per the rules,” the order addressed to RTOs said. The order also attached a copy of the complaint letter of Harshal Prabhu.

Prabhu wrote the letter on IGRS, an integrated system designed for the redressal of grievances. In the letter, he said that the display of such stickers is a threat to the social fabric of society.

“We came across a trend in Uttar Pradesh and other states too where near about everyone are using caste names on the number plate and vehicles to glorify their identities. Such glorification must be stopped as there can be a rivalry too which can create law and order situation in the state. I request to immediately stop such glorification of caste on vehicles and immediately seize the vehicles without any further notice,” the letter written on December 4 by Prabhu to PMO read. 

“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.

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.

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