Several students of Pondicherry University barged into the Executive Committee Hall on Thursday, demanding that the Vice Chancellor meet them and explain why a student wrongly accused of entering the women’s hostel was punished.

One of the students said the problem started on Sunday, when S. Radhakrishnan of the Tamil Department was allegedly detained by the security department for more than 24 hours and accused of entering the girls’ hostel and harassing the students there last Thursday, throwing chilli powder on one of them.

An unidentified person, masking his face with a handkerchief, had attempted that day to enter the girls’ hostel from the bushes behind.

He threw chilli powder on the face of the person who tried to stop him. The authorities have been investigating the case ever since, sources said.

On Sunday afternoon, Radhakrishnan was allegedly detained by security personnel, beaten and forced to confess to having harassed the girl students behind the hostel, a source said.

The student was cleared of all charges when CCTV footage revealed that he had been in the library at the time of the incident, the source said.

Radhakrishnan said he was beaten by security officers and asked to confess to having entered the girls’ hostel and thrown chilli powder on one of the students.

When he refused, they kept begging him to confess and did not give him food until he did. He was taken into the security office around noon Sunday and released on Monday night, he said.

On Thursday, the students of various hostels assembled to stage a protest outside the administrative block.

When Vice-Chancellor Chandra Krishnamurthy did not meet them, they barged into the EC Hall, where a tender meeting was going on.