Panaji: In a startling revelation, historians in Goa have claimed that it is the Indian Army, and not the Goa government that possesses the original historic 'treaty of surrender’ that was signed 50 years back between the Indian Army and Portugal Government at the time of Goa liberation.

The original copy is displayed on a wall at the Indian Army’s 2STC office in Panaji, a historian Sanjiv Sardesai said.

The historians, who researched the incidents that took place on December 19, 1961, when Goa was freed from the shackles of the 450-year long Portuguese rule, have said that the original treaty remains to be out of bound of state government.

"What we are showing to the public as a treaty of surrender is not the original one," he said.

Desai pointed out that the state government’s official diary has printed an unsigned letter by the then Portuguese Commandant of Armed Forces General Manuel Antonio Vassalo e
Silva, as the treaty.

The confusion over the treaty continues as a different letter in Portuguese, signed by Silva, is displayed in the Goa state museum gallery on 'Goa Freedom Struggle'.

Sardesai said that the original treaty has signatures of Major General K P Candeth, who led Operation Vijay to liberate Goa. The original document also carries the signature of Silva.

"It is in Portuguese and the same text is translated in English below it," he explained. Another historian Rohit Falgaonkar said, "The original copy should have been displayed in the Goa state museum, so that people know about it."

The state government should do activities that would bring people closer to the history of the state, Falgaonkar said.

Director of Goa State Museum Radha Bhave said, that the copy on display was a facsimile from the book on a freedom struggle, which was put as an exhibit since 2004.

"If there is an original copy available, which is different from that, we will surely try to procure it," she said.

Confusion over the events preceding Goa’s liberation has also percolated to the students.

As per the Secondary School Certification examination book titled 'History of Goa', the treaty was signed between both the parties below the headlights of car of the Governor
in Vasco-da-Gama, whereas historians claim that the treaty was signed in Panaji.

"The document of surrender was signed at 7.30 pm on a street at Vasco-da-Gama under headlights of the Car of Portuguese Governor General and submitted to Brig K S Dhillon," the para in the book reads.

Sardesai, pointing out at the original treaty, has said that it was signed in Panaji city and that too at 8.30 pm.

Agencies