The Malabar Devaswom Board took over the administration of the Mattannur Mahadeva Temple amid strong protests by people, who resisted the entry of the officials and the police into the temple, on Wednesday.
Despite the protest, officials led by executive officer P. Sreekumar entered the temple by breaking open the locked gate and door and took charge of the temple.
The protesters gathered in front of the temple by 7.30 a.m. after they got information that Devaswom Board officials, with the support of the police, were planning to take over the administration.
The protesters tried to block the officials in front of the temple gate. During the protest, a few of the agitators tried to pour petrol on their bodies but the police intervened and snatched away the bottle of petrol.
Based on a High Court order, the Malabar Devaswom Board Commissioner had directed the take-over of the temple and auditorium, the board officials said.
For the past 10 years, the board had been trying to take control of the temple.
However, C.H. Mohandas, temple president, alleged that the board had taken over the administration when the case was pending in the Supreme Court.
The police force headed by Inspector M. Krishnan and sub inspector K. Ganeshan provided protection to the officials.