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Uniform for auto drivers

Autorickshaw drivers of Seemanchal will soon have to follow a dress code while setting out for work every day.

Darbhanga zone police have decided to put in place a system for autorickshaw drivers to ensure safety. The drivers would have to follow a dress code and carry police-approved photo identity cards with their names and addresses.

The decision — taken on Saturday at a review meeting — will be implemented in Purnea, Araria, Katihar and Kishanganj districts. Close to the India-Nepal and India-Bangladesh borders, there has been a spurt in crime in these districts recently. Inspector-general (IG) of police (Darbhanga zone) Arvind Pandey presided over the meeting.

To ensure safety of passengers in the face of rise in crime, police in Patna have implemented a coding system for autorickshaws. The drivers in Patna also have to carry police-approved identity cards. But a dress code for the drivers is a first-of-its kind move in the state.

Although the colour of the uniform has not been decided yet, Purnea superintendent of police (SP) Ajit Kumar Satyarthi said it could be khaki or navy blue.

IG Pandey said: “The idea struck me after I came across several complaints of criminals stealing passengers’ belongings from moving autorickshaws. I invited representatives of the autorickshaw drivers’ associations to the review meeting and sought their opinion. The dress code is being introduced as an experiment and would be launched in other districts under the Darbhanga zone too.”

Purnea SP Satyarthi said the dress code and police-approved identity cards would be executed in the district soon.