The University of Hong Kong on Tuesday issued a statement saying it no longer recognises the institution's students' union, just hours after Chief Executive Carrie Lam demanded action against student leaders.
Lam told the media she was very angry and ashamed that the union's council had passed a motion expressing sadness at the death of a man who stabbed a policeman on July 1. She urged the university and the police to follow up on the matter.
The union's head Kwok Wing-ho had apologised for the motion last week, as the authorities insisted that mourning the dead man amounts to the national security offence of promoting terrorism.
The university had condemned the union for "whitewashing violence".
But following Lam's latest comments ahead of this week's Executive Council meeting, university management went further.
"The university announces that it no longer recognises the current role of the HKUSU (as an independent registered association) on campus. At the same time, it will solemnly conduct an investigation into the incident concerning the HKUSU council in accordance with university procedures and, based on the investigation outcomes, take action against the students concerned," a statement said.
"The university hereby urges students to uphold rationality and proper values, focus on their studies and make contributions to the society."
The statement added that the university will set up a team to coordinate and handle student activities to ensure that normal business will not be affected.
The university had already severed ties with the union back in April, accusing it of spreading political propaganda on campus. It said at the time that it would be assuming control over the union's offices and other facilities.