Two days after a Coimbatore Law College student was suspended after her speech in class on the Kathua rape and murder, the college’s principal claimed that R Priya was suspended for speaking against patriarchy and calling society “male chauvinistic”, The New Indian Express reported.

“She spoke on patriarchy and called society male chauvinistic which led to a clash-like situation between boys and girls in class,” KS Gopalakrishnan, the principal, said. “The girl picked a quarrel with a staff member who questioned her. Hence, the action.”

The college had earlier said it suspended the girl for “inciting gender and religious hatred among students”.

He added that an inquiry committee had been set up to investigate the incident and it would send its report to the Dr Ambedkar Law University in Chennai, Gopalakrishnan said. He added that he the student had not given him any explanation about the incident. “She did not meet me after she got the order,” the principal said. “So, I was not able to get an explanation from her.”

However, an unidentified classmate disputed the principal’s claims that the students almost clashed over her speech. The student said Priya spoke about the Kathua rape and murder, and went on to call society a male chauvinist one. “Then a boy asked her not to make a general statement and this led to a serious debate,” the classmate said. “It was a debate held as part of academic activity in class.”

The principal had earlier said Priya was part of the Revolutionary Student Front organisation. “She always works against the government and the college management,” he claimed. “She is inciting students to protest against the government. She has the right to participate in social work, but we cannot accept such work inside the college campus.”