Chennai: Tamil Nadu school education minister KA Sengottaiyan has said that there will be no ban on the use of wristbands that help identify the caste of school students.

Students in some schools in Tamil Nadu are being made to wear colour-coded wristbands to distinguish those belonging to “upper castes” and “lower castes”, the state government said on Tuesday. The wristbands, which come in shades of red, yellow, green and saffron indicate whether the student belongs to the “lower class” or “upper class”.

The statement comes after BJP leader H Raja had called for action against the officer who issued the circular banning casteist practices.

The minister also said that the circular was issued without his knowledge and it was passed just to create a controversy.

The circular stated that apart from wristbands, students should not be allowed to wear rings and forehead 'tilak' as they are also caste markers.

The director of school education had directed officials to identify schools in each of their districts that practised such discrimination, apart from initiating severe action.

The circular also said these caste markers are being used for sports team selection, reassembling during class and lunch intervals.

H Raja said in a tweet, "There is no bar on wearing a wristband and tilak in schools. The school education minister says he was not consulted about it. Hence, action must be taken against the officer who issued this circular immediately."

" some schools in TN, students were made to wear colour-coded wristbands. These which come in shares of red, yellow, green and saffron indicate whether they belong to a "lower" or "upper" caste," a circular issued by director of school education S Kannappan said.

"Allegedly, these practices are enforced by students themselves and supported by influential caste persons and teachers," the circular read.