How Goa became a part of India - India News - IBNLive In 1947 when India became independent, Portugal had control of a handful of enclaves on the subcontinent. Lisbonâ€™s Estado da India consisted of Goa, Daman, Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. It covered an area of around 4,000 square km. The population inhabiting the area was 637,591 in 1947. Religious distribution was 61 per cent Hindu, 36.7 per cent Christian and 2.2 per cent Muslim. Resistance to Portuguese rule in Goa was pioneered by TristÃ£o de BraganÃ§a Cunha, a French educated Goan engineer who founded the Goa Congress Committee in 1928. Da Cunha released a booklet called 'Four hundred years of Foreign Rule' and a pamphlet, 'Denationalisation of Goa'. Eventually Da Cunha would become the first president of the Goa Congress, affiliated to the Indian National Congress. Several leaders of the Indian Independence movement like Rajendra Prasad, Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhas Chandra Bose expressed solidarity with the Goan people's craving for independence. On June 18, 1946, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia along with Da Cunha and Dr Juliao Menezes, a nationalist leader who had founded in Bombay the Gomantak Praja Mandal and edited the weekly newspaper, Gomantak, held a protest in Panjim against the suspension of civil liberties. The Portuguese government brokenup the protest and arrested the leaders. Intermittent mass demonstrations were reported from June to November. Post-1947, armed groups such as the Azad Gomantak Dal (The Free Goa Party) and the United Front of Goans became active. The Indian government supported these groups and gave them financial, logistic and armament support. The armed groups acted from bases situated in Indian territory. Commenting on the armed resistance, Portuguese army officer, Captain Carlos Azaredo ( who later retired as General) stationed in Goa said in an interview to Portuguese newspaper O Expresso: "To the contrary to what is being said, the most evolved guerilla warfare which our armed forces encountered was in Goa. I know what Iâ€™m talking about, because I also fought in Angola and in GuinÃ©. In 1961 alone, until December, around 80 policemen died. The major part of the terrorists of Azad Gomantak Dal were not Goans. Many had fought in the British Army under General Montgomery against the Germans." In 1950 when India asked Portugal to open negotiations about the future of Portuguese colonies in India, Lisbon rebuffed it, saying that its territory on the Indian subcontinent was not a colony but part of metropolitan Portugal and hence its transfer was non-negotiable. In protest, India withdrew its diplomatic mission from Lisbon in 1953. By 1954, New Delhi instituted visa restrictions on travel from Goa to India which paralysed transportation between Goa and other enclaves like Daman, Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The Indian union of dockers also instituted a boycott on shipping to Portuguese India.Between July 22 and August 2, 1954, armed activists attacked and forced the surrender of Portuguese forces stationed in Dadra and Nagar Haveli. On August 15, 1955, about 5000 Indian activists attempted to enter Goa at six locations and were repulsed by Portuguese police. About 30 people were killed. The news galvanised public opinion in India against the Portuguese rule in Goa and on September 1, 1955, India shut its consul office in Goa. Portugalâ€™s prime minister, Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, alarmed by the possibility of armed Indian action, first asked London to mediate, then protested through Brazil and eventually asked the UN Security Council to intervene. Meanwhile, Krishna Menon, Indiaâ€™s defence minister and head of Indiaâ€™s UN delegation, stated in no uncertain terms that India had not â€œabjured the use of forceâ€ in Goa. On 24 November 1961, the Sabarmati, a passenger boat passing between the Portuguese-held island of Anjidiv and the Indian port of Kochi, was fired upon by Portuguese ground troops, resulting in injuries to the chief engineer of the boat, as well as the death of a passenger. That gave Nehru the immediate alibi for armed intervention. Eventually, on December 10, 1961, Nehru stated to the press that "Continuance of Goa under Portuguese rule is an impossibility". After the government asked the armed forces to get ready, India's Southern Command fielded the 17th Infantry Division and the 50th Parachute Brigade. The assault on Daman was assigned to the 1st Maratha Light Infantry while the operations in Diu were assigned to the 20th Rajput and 4th Madras battalions. Air resources for the assault on Goa were concentrated in the bases at Pune and Sambra. Operation Vijay saw the Indian Navy deploy two warships â€” INS Rajput, an 'R' Class destroyer, and INS Kirpan, a Blackwood class frigate, off the coast of Goa. The actual naval assault was assigned to four task groups - a surface action Group comprising five ships (Mysore, Trishul, Betwa, Beas and Cauvery), a carrier group of five ships (Delhi, Kuthar, Kirpan, Khukri and Rajput centred around carrier Vikrant), a mine Sweeping Group and a support group. Salazar, disregarding other officials and military officers, asked the Portuguese authorities in Goa and there would be no surrender and that Portugal should fight till the last man. He asked the Portuguese forces to at least hold out for eight days which he thought was enough time to garner international support against 'Indian invasion'. Portuguese ground defences consisted of 3,995 men, including infantry troops and 810 Goan soldiers. In addition, there were about 1,040 police officers and 400 border guards divided among the three Portuguese enclaves in India. The strategy employed to resist Indian invasion was centred around the Plano Sentinela which divided Goa into four sectors, with forces assigned to each sector and tasked with slowing the progression of an invading force. These plans were however unviable because of the desperate shortage of ammunition and communication equipment. One Portuguese Navy ship, Afonso de Albuquerque, was present in Goa at the time of invasion. The vessel was armed with four 120 mm guns capable of two shots per minute and four automatic rapid firing guns. There were five merchant navy ships in Goa and three light patrol boats, each armed with a 20mm Oerlikon gun. Commenting on the Plano Sentinela, Captain Azaredo told Portuguese newspaper O Expresso in 2001, "It was a totally unrealistic and unachievable plan which was quite incomplete."On December 18, Indian Air Force Canberras pounded the Dabolim Airfield, rendering the runway invalid but causing no damage to infrastructure and facilities. Another raid by Hawker Hunters neutralised a wireless station at Bambolim. On December 18, under covering fire from INS Trishul and INS Mysore, Indian troops landed on the island of Anjidiv and engaged the Portuguese defenders. The Portuguese ceased fire and raised a white flag, thus luring the Indian soldiers out of their cover before opening fire again, killing seven and wounding 19. The Portuguese defences were eventually overrun after fierce shelling from the Indian ships offshore. The island was secured by Indian troops by December 19. On the morning of 18 December, Afonso de Albuquerque was anchored off Mormugao harbour. Three Indian frigates led by the INS Betwa took up position off the harbour at 9 in the morning. At 11 AM, Indian planes raided the harbour and at 12.00 pm, INS Betwa, accompanied by INS Beas, entered the harbour and opened fire on the Portuguese ships with their 4.5-inch guns while transmitting requests to surrender in between shots in morse code. In response, Afonso de Albuquerque lifted anchor, headed out towards the enemy and returned fire with its 120 mm guns. A few minutes into the exchange of fire, the Afonso took a direct hit in its control tower, injuring its weapons officer. At 12.25 pm, an anti-personnel shrapnel bomb fired from an Indian vessel exploded directly over the ship, killing its radio officer and severely injuring its commander, Captain AntÃ³nio da Cunha AragÃ£o, after which First Officer Pinto da Cruz took command of the vessel. The ships propulsion system was also badly damaged in this attack. At 12.35 pm, Afonso de Albuquerque swerved 180 degrees and was run aground against Bambolim beach.Eventually at 12.50 pm, after having fired nearly 400 rounds at the Indians, hitting two of the Indian vessels, and having taken severe damage, order was given to abandon the ship. In all, Afonso de Albuquerque lost 5 men and 13 were wounded in the battle. The 50 Para Brigade moving in from the north and the northeast on December 18 was the first to reach Panjim on December 19. The Aguada fort was run over and Portuguese forces were overrun and many surrendered.Meanwhile from the east, the 63rd Infantry Brigade marched on Margao. On the way fell Ponda, Candeapur and Darbondara. They then continued till Dabolim Airport and Mormugai harbour. By the evening, most of Goa had fallen to advancing Indian troops and the Portuguese had gathered around 2,000 soldiers at the entrance to Vasco da Gama to make their last stand.The instruction from Salazar was to hold out at the harbour till naval reinforcements arrived from Lisbon. But Goa's Portuguese Governor General Manuel AntÃ³nio Vassalo e Silva took stock of the numerical superiority of the Indian troops, as well as the food and ammunition supplies available to his forces and took the decision to surrender. He later described his orders to destroy Goa before losing as "um sacrifÃcio inÃºtil" (a useless sacrifice). In a communication to all Portuguese forces under his command, he stated, â€œHaving considered the defence of the Peninsula of Mormugaoâ€¦ from aerial, naval and ground fire of the enemy and â€¦ having considered the difference between the forces and the resourcesâ€¦ the situation does not allow myself to proceed with the fight without great sacrifice of the lives of the inhabitants of Vasco da Gama, I have decided with â€¦ my patriotism well present, to get in touch with the enemy â€¦ I order all my forces to cease-fire.â€ The official Portuguese surrender was conducted in a formal ceremony held at 2030 pm on December 19 when Governor General Manuel AntÃ³nio Vassalo e Silva signed the instrument of surrender bringing to an end 451 years of Portuguese Rule in Goa. In all, 4668 personnel were taken prisoner by the Indians - a figure which included military and civilian personnel, Portuguese, Africans and Indians (Goans). Of these, 3412 prisoners were taken in Goa, 853 in Daman and 403 in Diu.