KOZHIKODE: The police personnel have been running the administrative affairs of the Sree Bhadrakali temple at Muthalakkulam in the city for decades.
“The police personnel in the city and rural limits dole out 20 from their monthly salary to bear the temple expenses. Annadanam (free food) is also served to over 1,500 devotees on the first day of each Malayalam month,” said Narcotic Cell Assistant Commissioner C Aravindakshan.
Though the administration of mosques and churches was handed over to the people of the respective sects, the custom at the temple continued post Independence.
It was taken over by the police to cater to the spiritual needs of the Hindu faithfuls, who were part of the police force back then.
Similarly, Pattala mosque in the city catered to the spiritual needs of Muslims and the Anglican Church (now known as CSI St Mary’s English Church) at Nadakkavu catered to Christians in the force.
According to the bylaw, the ADGP (North Zone) is the patron of the temple. The City Police Commissioner is the president of the temple administrative committee. Kozhikode Rural SP and Assistant Commissioner (Narcotic cell) are the vice-president and the secretary, respectively.
Formerly known as Sree Annapoorneshwari Temple, the temple was renovated in 2011 utilising the voluntary contributions of police personnel and the sponsors. Four years ago, it was renamed Sree Bhadrakali temple after a team of astrologers performed a special ritual and found Goddess Bhadrakali to be the principal deity. It is believed the temple was built by the Mudaliars (a caste title used in Tamil Nadu) around 500 years ago.
According to Melsanthi (head priest) of the temple, Kandamangalam Narayanan Namboothiri, “the doors of the temple are open to all. People from various faiths offer prayers at the temple.”
Free Bhagavad Gita classes are held at the temple. Now, the administration plans to provide free music classes for students.