Panaji: As Goa is gearing up to celebrate
its 48th year of liberation from the Portuguese on December
19, unrecognised freedom fighters in the state have demanded
their financial due, allegedly pending for decades.
The Freedom Fighters Association of Goa (FFAG) has
demanded Chief Minister Digamber Kamat that those freedom
fighters who are unrecognised in the state or central list,
should be paid financial compensation in lump sum, honouring
their contribution in the struggle for independence.
Goa, a state colonised by Portuguese in 1510 managed to
get connected to mainstream India in 1961, after a prolonged
freedom struggle, capped with Indian Army`s operation `Vijay`.
FFAG president Chandrakant Kenkre told reporters that
around 300-odd freedom fighters have no written evidence to
establish their involvement in the liberation movement.
"But we know them personally and many other freedom
fighters will vouch for their selfless role in the liberation
movement. Since they cannot be qualified for the pension, it`s
demanded that they be honoured by paying a lump-sum amount,"
He said former chief minister Pratapsingh Rane had
assured to look into the demands of these freedom fighters.
Kenkre today met Chief Minister Digambar Kamat in Panaji
and demanded that financial honour should be given to these
"Organising meetings and networking amongst people were
prime duties conducted by these people during the liberation
struggle. These were the people who rented their houses and
helped in organising meetings, which created awareness amongst
the masses against oppressive Portuguese rule," he said.
The freedom fighters have demanded that beneficiaries
should be provided medical treatment facilities outside the
"The state government sanctions medical reimbursement for
freedom fighters. But if they go for treatment outside the
state without prior intimation to the health authorities in
Goa, the bills are not paid," Kenkre said.