Portuguese Possessions in India - July 1954


Many political organisations were working for liberating Goa, but each one was acting independently. Therefore, an Action Committee was formed in 1953, under Dr. T. B. Cunha, to help the Goans to launch a mass movement. Consequently, on 15th August 1954, three batches of Goan Styagrahis entered in Goa but they were brutally suppressed.

By seeing the cover, (dated13th November 1954 addressed to Goa) it appears that the letters coming from India were checked by Custom Department

The Government of India lodged a strong protest. Once again on 15th August 1955, 3000 volunteers entered Goa but they were butchered by firing by Portuguese forces. The Government of India condemned the firing by the Portuguese. Thereafter, the Indian Government banned Satyagrahis to enter in Goa. Cases of torture and terror by Portuguese, were reported several times in newspapers. In October 1961, the Indian Government declared that they would think a fresh, because of sad happenings in Goa. Portugal was adamant and paid no attention to the representation made by USA and Great Britain to settle the issue of Goa.

As no other alternative left with Indian Government, they launched military action to liberate Goa on 17 - 18th night of December 1961. Goa was liberated within 36 hours after troops of the 17th Indian Division moved across the Goan borders. At about 6 AM on 19th December the Portuguese garrison at Panjim, the capital of Goa, surrendered to Indian forces. The garrison at Daman and Diu followed suit at 8.20AM and 11.10AM respectively. It was reported that 45 Portuguese and 22 Indian were killed in the lightening army action in Goa. Major General Kenneth Candeth, Commander of the Indian troops in action, had assumed charge as military Governor of Goa and its enclaves, on 19th December 1961. Thus Goa, Daman and Diu were liberated on 19th December 1961. In March 1962, Goa Daman and Diu were integrated with India and were made Union Territory of Goa, Damn & Diu.

The first stamps of Portuguese India found cancelled after 19th December 1961 is of 25th December 1961. The first Indian stamp found cancelled after liberated is also of 25th December 1961.

It appears that the Portuguese cancellation continued till September 1962. My last example is dated 24th September 1961. Indian cancellation apeeared for the first time during August 1962. My earliest example is dated 16th August 1962.

It also appears that the cancellations of Goa bears ‘P & T’ in it before normal cancellations were introduced in 1963.
Can anybody slove this riddle - why ‘P & T’ words inserted in the cancellation?

Readers are requested to send their query/comments to Mr. Ashok Kumar Bayanwala, 96, Swastik Society,Navarangpura, AHMEDABAD-380009, INDIA or email to Prashant H. Pandya

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