The University of Hyderabad has ordered that a committee be formed to find out who set up a Ram temple on its campus, The Indian Express reported.

On April 10, a stone structure across the men’s hostel-F was allegedly converted into a temple on the Hindu festival of Ram Navami. Saffron flags were installed at the site and rocks were painted with “Om” and “Swastika” symbols.

The university students’ union alleged that members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and other Hindutva groups have built the temple, The News Minute reported.

Gopi Swamy, general secretary of the students’ union and convenor of the Ambedkar Students Association, alleged that the right-wing groups had made attempts in the recent past to “saffronise the campus”.

“In this specific incident, following Ram Navami celebrations, they have turned a stone structure into a Ram Mandir,” he said. “They are influencing the newly-admitted students with their communal bigotry.”

The students’ union had appealed to the university to look into the incident. However, no action has been taken yet, said Abhishek Nandan, president of the students’ union, The Indian Express reported.

Meanwhile, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, or ABVP, has refuted the allegations.

Shravan B Raj, national co-convenor of the Hindutva group, said that the students’ groups were creating an unnecessary controversy, The Indian Express reported.

“The ABVP and the Srirama Navami Utsav Committee organised Ram Navami celebrations at Gurbaksh Singh Maidan after taking proper permissions,” Raj said. “The ABVP has no links to the mandir because that has already been in existence.”

Raj added that the Hindu festival of Bonalu has been celebrated at the temple by the non-teaching staff for years.

“Some students have cleaned the place and performed a puja over there… If a student wants to follow his faith or belief, he has the freedom to do so,” he said.

On Wednesday, the university’s registrar, Devesh Nigam, said that the temple has been there since the university was founded in 1974, The Indian Express reported.

“It is a small structure that has existed since the inception [of the university],” Nigam said. “Photos of some Hindu deities were there too. On the day of Ram Navami, one or two students went there and cleaned the place, painted it in saffron colour and installed saffron flags.”

Nigam, however, said that the students had not sought the university’s permission to perform rituals. “So, a committee has been set up to inquire into the matter,” he told The Indian Express. “Action will be taken as per its recommendations.”