The University of Hyderabad on Wednesday suspended ten postgraduate students for varying periods of time for allegedly intimidating and verbally assaulting officials, the Hindustan Times reported.

The university suspended three students from all academic programmes and the hostel for two years and seven students for six months.

Officials said that hostel wardens went to the J wing of the men’s hostel on November 3 after they were tipped off that there was a woman in one of the rooms. When the wardens objected, the students allegedly argued with them and threatened physical violence. “The students also used derogatory language, attempted to intimidate and browbeat the officials, including faculty members,” a spokesperson for the university was quoted as saying.

However, the students said that the university was indulging in moral policing. Yamarthi Sai Kumar, a Student Federation of India leader and one of the suspended students, said no warden was assaulted. Kumar said though the woman was not supposed to be there, she had said she was there to discuss a curriculum-related subject with one of the students.

“In any case, the students only questioned the wardens for disturbing them in the late hours and intimidating them,” he said. “If the woman was at fault, there is a procedure to seek an explanation from her.”

Instead, the officials indulged in moral policing in the late hours, he complained.

The university’s spokesperson said the students were suspended for intimidating, verbally assaulting and preventing faculty, wardens and security staff from discharging their duties. He said they took action only after an inquiry committee constituted by Vice Chancellor Professor P Appa Rao spoke to 12 students in two meetings.