The Indian Institute of Information Technology-Allahabad (IIIT-A), a premier institute funded by the centre, has barred its students and staff from accessing social networking site Facebook.

The move was taken after the institute received complaints against some students who were using the popular social networking site to threaten and abuse other students, faculty members and the administration.

Also, warning the students against maintaining blogs, the administration has asked them not to post offensive material as it violated the institute's code of conduct.

Pankaj Mishra, the institute's spokesperson said the erring students have been asked to explain their behaviour.

Asked if the restriction was permanent, Mr. Mishra said, "It's just for a few days, just to warn those students who had been misusing the site and posting offensive material."

Reacting to the ban, the students feel it is harsh on the overall body of students.

Established in 1999, IIIT-A is one of the four IIITs in the country. The institutes are managed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development.

The headline of this article has been corrected for a factual error