On 19 December, 1961, India conquered Goa from the Portuguese and Goa became a part of India

Panjim: Every year on 19 December, Goa Liberation Day is celebrated in the state as Goa was liberated from Portuguese rule on that day in 1961. Goa was a Portuguese colony for 451 years.

How Goa Was Liberated

In the 19th Century, when there was a movement for Independence in India, the effects of which were felt on a smaller scale in Goa as well. Goans participated in Satyagraha in the late 1940s. After India got independence, the Portuguese refused to give up their hold over Goa.

Finally, on 19 December, 1961, India conquered Goa from the Portuguese and Goa became a part of India. Goa was taken over by the Portuguese from the Maratha rule in 1641 and began the minor Bicholim conflict, which ended in a peace treaty between the Portuguese and Maratha Empire.
The government of India under Jawaharlal Nehru in 1961 adopted a plan called Operation Vijay to free the Portuguese colonies in India. General JN Chaudhari was in charge of carrying out this plan. By 11 December, 1961, Indian forces were placed at Belgaum, Vapi and Una for attacks on Goa, Daman and Diu, respectively.

Operations against Goa were directed by Major General KP Candeth. On 12 December, 1961, the two mainland routes connecting Goa and India were sealed for the civilian population. 18 December, 1961, was the day determined for the attack.

All the three sections of the Indian armed forces participated in Operation Vijay. The Indian attack overpowered the Portuguese 3,000 member army with a force of almost 30,000.
After numerous operations all over Goa, on 19 December, the Indian forces, which had successfully reached Betim the previous day, arrived at Panjim and hoisted the Indian flag. The Indian national flag was hoisted by Major General KP Candeth.

All operations in Goa came to a halt at 6 pm on 19 December, 1961. Arrangements were made for receiving the formal surrender at the hands of the Portuguese governor General Salo E Silva. The document of surrender was signed at 7.30 pm. Major General Candeth was then appointed the military Governor of Goa.

Within 40 hours of the start of the operation, the Indian Army had successfully carried out Operation Vijay and centuries of foreign domination in Goa came to an end.

A War Memorial at Indian Naval Ship Gomantak was constructed in memory of seven sailors and other personnel who laid down their lives on 19 December 1961. Every year on this day, the officers of the Indian Navy pay their homage to the soldiers. A Guard is paraded and wreaths laid on the occasion at the war memorial.