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PM Modi visit Goa to participate in ‘Liberation Day’ today | Key points

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Panaji: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Goa on Sunday to attend the 60th liberation day of the state, which will be observed at Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium in Taleigao at around 3 pm. The diamond jubilee celebrations were set in motion on December 19, 2020 by President Ram Nath Kovind on banks of the Mandovi river in Panaji, with the state government rolling out many programmes since then with assembly elections just a couple of months away. The Centre too had announced a grant of Rs 300 crore for Goa.

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As per the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the Prime Minister will felicitate the freedom fighters and veterans of ‘Operation Vijay’ at the function.

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On Sunday, the PM will also release a Special Cover and Special Cancellation to mark the commemoration of Indian Armed Forces freeing Goa from Portuguese rule. This special episode of history is etched on the war memorial at Indian Naval Ship Gomantak, constructed in memory of seven young sailors and other personnel who laid down their lives in ‘Operation Vijay’ that led to Goa’s liberation.

What is ‘Operation Vijay’?

Perhaps the first tri-service operation of the Indian armed forces, ‘Operation Vijay’(1961), led to the capture of Goa, Daman and Diu and Anjediva Islands. While the India was prepared to take military action since the beginning of December 1, it build up into the 36-hour military operation, starting on December 18, 1961 and concluded on December 19, 1961.

While the army advanced into Goa from the North and the East, the Indian Air Force bombed the Portuguese airbase at Dabolim. While, the Indian Navy was tasked to prevent hostile action by Portuguese warships, it secured access to the Mormugao harbour, and secured the Anjediva island off Karwar.

By the evening of December 19, 1961, Portuguese Governor General Vassalo De Silva signed the document of surrender after Indian armed forces outnumbered and overwhelmed the Portuguese. Goa was then freed from the Portuguese rule and was brought under the control of the Indian government.

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Why Goa celebrates liberation day on December 19

Goa, which was an important port for trade and military operations, ruled by the Portuguese for more than 450 years. While several revolts against Portuguese rulers and their policies have historically been recorded in the 18th and 19th century, on June 18, 1946, the movement of Goa’s liberation gathered momentum after socialist leader Dr Ram Manohar Lohia took part into the freedom movement with many young Goans. The day is now observed as Goa Revolution Day.

Even though, India got its independent on August 15, 1947, Goa continued to be under Portuguese rule 14 years after that. After multiple agitations by freedom fighters, India made peaceful attempts for Goa’s liberation through diplomatic channels. However, as a last resort, the then central government led by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, sent in its armed forces to the coastal state after which the Portuguese surrendered and Goa was liberated on December 19, 1961. This day also marked the exit of the Portuguese, the last of the European colonisers to leave India.

Key points of PM Modi’s visit in Goa on liberation day

Prime Minister will inaugurate multiple development projects including the renovated Fort Aguada Jail Museum, Super Speciality Block at Goa Medical College, New South Goa District Hospital, Aviation Skill Development Center at Mopa Airport and the Gas-insulated Substation at Dabolim-Navelim, Margao.

He will also lay the foundation stone for the India International University of Legal Education and Research of Bar Council of India Trust at Goa.

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It has been the constant endeavour of the Prime Minister to improve medical infrastructure and provide top-class medical facilities across the country. In line with this vision, the Super Speciality Block at Goa Medical College and Hospital has been constructed at a cost of over ₹ 380 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana scheme.

It is the only state-of-the-art super specialty hospital in the entire state of Goa, providing high-end super specialty services. It will provide specialized services like angioplasty, bypass surgery, liver transplant, kidney transplant, dialysis etc. The Super Speciality Block will also house a 1000 LPM PSA plant installed under PM-CARES.

The New South Goa District Hospital, built at a cost of around Rs.220 crores, is equipped with modern medical infrastructure including OPD services in 33 specialities, the latest diagnostic and laboratory facilities and services like Physiotherapy, Audiometry etc. The hospital has 500 oxygenated beds, 5500 litre LMO tank and 2 PSA plants of 600 litres per minute (lpm).

The re-development of Aguada Fort Jail Museum as a Heritage Tourism destination under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, has been done at a cost of over ₹ 28 crore. Before Goa’s liberation, Aguada Fort was used to incarcerate and torture the freedom fighters.

The Museum will highlight the contributions and sacrifices made by the prominent freedom fighters who fought for the liberation of Goa and will be a befitting tribute to them.

The Aviation Skill Development Center at the upcoming Mopa Airport, built at a cost of around ₹ 8.5 crore, is aimed at providing training in 16 different job profiles. The trainees will be able to get job opportunities in the Mopa Airport project as it becomes operational, as well as at other Airports in India and abroad.

Gas Insulated Substation at Davorlim-Navelim, Margao has been constructed at a cost of around ₹ 16 crores under the Integrated Power Development Scheme of the Ministry of Power, Government of India. It will provide stable power supply to the villages of Davorlim, Nessai, Navelim, Aquem-Baixo and Telaulim.

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The India International University of Legal Education and Research of Bar Council of India Trust will be established in line with the focus of the government to transform Goa into a hub of higher and technical education.

Prime Minister will also release a Special Cover and Special Cancellation to mark the commemoration of the Indian Armed Forces freeing Goa from Portuguese rule.

This special episode of history is shown on the special cover, whereas the special cancellation depicts the war memorial at Indian Naval Ship Gomantak, constructed in memory of seven young gallant sailors and other personnel who laid down their lives in “Operation Vijay”.

The Prime Minister will also release ‘My Stamp’ depicting the Hutatma Smarak at Patradevi, which salutes the great sacrifices made by the martyrs of the Goa Liberation Movement. A ‘Meghdoot Post Card’ depicting a collage of pictures of different events during the Goa Liberation Struggle will also be presented to the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister will also distribute awards to the best Panchayat/Municipality, Swayampurna Mitras and beneficiaries of Swayampurna Goa Programme.

During his visit, at around 2:15 pm, the Prime Minister will also pay floral tributes at Martyr’s Memorial, Azad Maidan, Panaji. At around 2:30 pm, he will attend the Sail Parade and flypast at Miramar, Panaji.

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