Malabar Special Police
The Malabar Special Police (MSP) is a paramilitary unit of the State Police of Kerala. This unit also trains new recruits and also helps the local police units to maintain law and order during emergencies. During emergencies, this unit forms the riot police platoons fully equipped with riot gear. This Police unit is known for its extraordinary tough training, and the high quality of its firing and military drills.
Since its inception, the MSP has successfully overcome all limitations and established itself as a crack corps. The beginnings of this Force are to be found in the Nayar sibbandy Corps raised under native chieftains towards the end of the 18th century. The Nayar Sibbandy Corps were developed to overawe the Moplahs. Later their place was taken up by a Force of 500 armed police men raised mainly for the purpose of collecting revenue. The Force suppressed a gang of Moplah fanatics, who settled in Chembrasseri Village. The MSP was made permanent in 1897. The Malapuram Special Force armed with Martin Henri Single- Shot rifles proved insufficient before the guerilla tactics adopted by the rebels. Nevertheless the members of this Force brought lasting fame to their organisation. The Government in on 30th September, 1921 sanctioned a strength of 6 British Officers, 8 Subedars, 16 Jamadars, 60 Havildars and 600 Constables to be formed into companies of Auxillary Police. This was later called the Malabar Special Police. The Force was officered by an Indian Civil Service officer, a probationary Assistant Superintendent of Police and demobilized officers of the British Army. The recruits were sent to Cannanore for training. The MSP successfully handled all the different tactics of the rebels and suppressed them. Its fame as expertise in guerilla warfare spread outside the state. Many agencies outside the state made use of them. Mr.Happel who later became the Inspector General of Police said of them, "Their discipline and general behaviour were excellent, they marched admirably, and inspite of frequent attacks of fever and the greatest hardships, there was never any grumbling" . In action they showed splendid dash and a complete disregard for danger.
The MSP was specially formed to deal with the social unrest in the region. The Headquarters of this battalion is at Malappuram. Hitchcock himself was the first Commandant. In 1932, the MSP was reorganised as 4 companies. The strength was increased to 16 companies during the Second World War. After the MSP strike in 1946, the number was reduced to 12 companies. At the formation of the Kerala State, 6 MSP companies were handed over to Madras State and the remaining 6 companies were retained in the Kerala Police. In 1957, 3 more companies were added to MSP during the Vimochana Samaram. The total present strength of Malabar Special Police is 7 companies. In addition to the facilities of armed training , the battalion has a motor vehicle workshop. At present newly recruited drivers are given training at this workshop. A central library and a computer centre are part of this battalion, apart from a prestigious school.
The Malabar Special Police was alloted a new wave length for wireless work and this was the first Police Organization in the Madras State utilizing wireless for operational purposes.Officers and men of the MSP have won no less than seventeen King's Police, President's Police and Indian Police medals, of which 8 have been for gallantry and 9 for meritorious service.