‘The order was simply forwarded by our department’

School Education Minister K.A. Sengottaiyan on Thursday said that the recent circular by his department banning the use of caste-identifying wrist bands by students was issued without knowledge of the department.

Parrying questions from the media on the issue after attending the Independence Day celebrations at an event here, he said the circular issued by the department to all Chief Educational Officers was not initiated by the department. “The order from the Adi Dravidar (and Tribal) Welfare department was simply forwarded by our department,” he said.

Desisting from clarifying whether his statement meant that there will be no ban on such wrist bands, he said, ‘whatever system remained in schools will continue.’

The circular was issued by the office of Director of School Education. The ban was welcomed by activists since the practice led to caste-based discrimination among students. However, a few right wing organisations objected to the ban, stating that it will lead to preventing students from wearing bands or other symbols that are religious.

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