India today celebrates the 57th Goa Liberation Day in commemoration of the Indian armed forces freeing Goa from Portuguese rule. On December 19, 1961, India completed Operation Vijay, ending Portugaol's 450-year rule over the state. Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar greeted Goans on the occasion, urging them to recall "the valiant efforts of our freedom fighters who fought against the oppression". The chief minister also praised the army's role in liberating Goa from Portuguese rule. A parade was also held in the state on the occasion.
Operation Vijay kicked off on December 17, 1961. After diplomatic efforts with the Portuguese administration failed, then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru ordered military intervention. Portugal had an army of 3,000 that was ill-prepared to handle the attack by 3,000-strong Indian forces.
The operation was carried out with minimal bloodshed and forced the Portuguese Governor General Vassalo da Silva to give up control of Goa. Within three days of the attack starting, Goa finally achieved independence and became a part of India. Upon the surrender of the Portuguese governor general, Goa, Daman and Diu was declared a federally administered Union Territory placed directly under the President of India, and Major-General K. P. Candeth was appointed as its military governor. The war had lasted two days, and had cost 22 Indian and 30 Portuguese lives.
In 1963, the Parliament passed the 12th Amendment Act to the Constitution of India, formally integrating the captured territories into the Indian Union. Goa, Daman and Diu became a Union Territory. Dadra and Nagar Haveli, which was previously a part of the Estado da India, but independent between 1954 and 1961, became a separate Union Territory. It was in 1987 that Goa was separated from Daman and Diu and made a full-fledged state.
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