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The Portuguese have ruled several Indian territories for over four centuries, including Goa. But after a brief military operation in 1961, the Indian state finally liberated Goa from the Portuguese occupation.

And since then, December 19 has been observed annually as Goa Liberation Day. The day marks Goa’s independence from centuries of colonisation by Portugal.

Since 1510, Portugal has colonised several regions of India. However, their rule was limited to a few Indian territories at the end of the 19th century, including Goa, Daman, and Diu, Dadra, and Nagar Haveli.

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The movement in Goa to put an end to Portuguese rule began with low-level revolts.

After the Independence of India in 1945, the territory of Goa was still under Portugal’s control. Portugal did not agree to free Goa and other Indian territories, despite several rounds of negotiations and diplomatic parleys.

The Indian government led by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru ordered a brief military operation called Operation Vijay’ to liberate these areas, which lasted for 36 hours and liberated Goa on 19 December 1961.

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Goa was freed after non-stop land, air force, and naval strikes, and then governor-general Manuel Antonio Vassalo e Silva was forced to sign surrender documents.