Page last updated at 09:07 GMT, Wednesday, 29 July 2009 10:07 UK

'Stunts' banned in India schools

A man driving a motorcycle over the hands of students at a school in Tamil Nadu on 15 July
The event was stopped after a relative of a minister protested

Schools in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu are to be instructed not to stage events with "risky" stunts, an official told the BBC.

The move follows an event in which a martial arts trainer drove a motorcycle over the hands of students.

The show, at a school in Villupuram, was stopped after protests from the relative of a government minister.

Authorities said parents of students had pressured the school into staging the event.

The head of Tamil Nadu's elementary school department, K Devarajan, told the BBC that all 50,000 schools in the state would be told not to hold events which involve "risky stunts and practices".

Safety fears

It follows the incident on 15 July in which a martial arts trainer rode a motorcycle over the outstretched hands of students lying on the ground.

Another stunt involved the bike being ridden over a plank laid on top of a girl lying on the ground.

The function was stopped by a relative of the state higher education minister who feared for the children's safety.

"Though there are instructions to schools regarding safety of the students, such events sometimes happen because of overwhelming demand from parents," Mr Devarajan said.

A man driving a motorcycle over a girl student at a school in Tamil Nadu on 15 July
Authorities say the students' parents had consented to the event

He said that parents had insisted on the show.

"They told the principal that their children had been trained in such martial arts," Mr Devarajan said.

One of the parents present told a newspaper that they had consented to the event.

"The students offered to lie down on their own," S Ilangovan said.

Martial arts are popular among students in India and many schools hold special classes.

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