Related Links Police in Travancore State , Police in Cochin State , Police in Travancore-Cochin State


Click to See Larger ViewDuring the early periods in Malabar, the rulers were determined by the festival called “Mamankam, held once in 12 years. But with Tipu’s invasion, this system was changed. Local administration went to the dogs. Communal riot was the worst headache. During the Mysore rule, the responsibility of keeping the law and order was entrusted upon certain local leaders and their Armed Force. By 1800, a primitive Police Force containing ‘Kolkar’, ‘Dafethar’ and ‘Jamedar’ was formed. By 1810, this force was dismissed. It was after this that the Malabar Special Police came in to existence.

British Malabar

It is obvious that the Police force evolved more or less at the same time in Travancore, Cochin and Malabar, eventhough for different reasons. The British were behind the formation of the force in these  zones. Initially in Malabar the British were only interested in collecting the revenue and hence police worked in an irregular fashion. Following the traditional method, a new Police system was introduced in 1816.  The ‘Athikari’ was the head of the Village Police. The Jilla Magistrate controlled the Police of a District and Thahsildar was doing the respective duty in his Taluk. The frequent communal riots, rebellions against the administration of the British by the patriotic Mappilas and the murder of the Connolly revealed the weakness of the force and prompted the Madras Presidency to institute Police reforms under the Act 24 of 1869.

The whole of Malabar was divided into North and South Malabar with headquarters at Tellicherry and Calicut for the smooth administration of the Police. As a precaution the best Police men were selected to form a separate unit. This unit was of great help in suppressing the riot of 1896.

In 1906 it is estimated that Malabar Police had 188 officers and 1278 men in 106 Police Stations. In 1884 a special punitive force was organized. It was known as Malabar Special Police in the beginning. The great eruption of Mappila rebellion forced the authority to create a strength of 600 constables in addition to the British and the Indian officers. The then South Malabar Police Superintendent Mr. Hitchcock organised a new Police force on the model of the British Army which came into existence on 30th September, 1921 as Malabar Special Police. Hitchcock himself was the first Commandant of M.S.P. In 1932 the strength of the force was increased to 16 companies. Whenever law and order situation was threatened the British always rushed levies from outside to control the situation. The system continued like this till 1956 when the Kerala state was formed and the Malabar Special Police was divided into two parts, one going to Madras State and the other  coming to Kerala.


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