New Delhi: Tamil Nadu has initiated action against schools which asked students to wear colour-coded wrist bands distinguishing those belonging to ‘upper castes’ from the ‘lower castes’, informed the state government.

In a circular issued on Tuesday, Director of School Education S Kannappan stated, “In some schools in Tamil Nadu, students were made to wear colour-coded wrist bands. These which come in shares of red, yellow, green and saffron indicate whether they belong to a ‘lower’ or ‘upper caste’.”

Officers of the state school education department were sent to identify and conduct a crackdown on such schools. Upon investigation, the officers found that rings and tilak on the forehead were used as caste markers, and such practices were used for sports team selection, reassembling during class and lunch intervals.

“Allegedly, these practices are enforced by students themselves and supported by influential caste persons and teachers,” added the circular. Notably, the circular was based on a representation made by officer trainees of the Indian Administration Service (IAS) 2018 batch.

As per the circular, the senior officers were asked to issue suitable instructions to the headmasters so that such practices don’t repeat. Besides, a warning of severe action was issued to all those persons responsible for the discrimination.