IEP Chandigarh September 28
Goa Chief Minister, Dr. Pramod Sawant reached Barola village in Ambala district of Haryana to meet Charanjit Kaur, wife of Sardar Karnail Singh Benipal, who was martyred in the Goa Liberation Movement. During this, he also presented a cheque of Rs 10 lakh to Smt. Charanjit Kaur as a gesture of honour.
While celebrating the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav and 60 years of Goa’s liberation, the Government had announced to give special honour to martyr Karnail Singh Benipal. A special invitation was sent to his wife Smt. Charanjit Kaur by the Goa government to attend the ceremony but due to her ill health, she could not attend the same.
The Chief Minister of Goa had promised her brother and Sister-in-law who had attended the programme on behalf of Smt. Charanjit Kaur that he would especially reach Ambala to meet Charanjit Kaur. Fulfilling the same, Dr. Sawant reached Barola village in Ambala today and met Smt. Charanjit Kaur and family members.
The Haryana Government extended its full cooperation to organize the visit of Dr. Pramod Sawant to Barola village in the Ambala district.
Notably, Sardar Karnail Singh Benipal wanted to see Goa free from Portuguese rule after India got independence. Meanwhile, the Goa Vimochan Sahayak Samiti, a Pune-based organization working for the liberation of Goa, decided to go on a mass satyagraha by crossing the border of Goa on August 15, 1955.
They also sought help from political parties. Accordingly, the satyagrahis were divided into groups. One group tried to enter Goa through the Patradevi border, while the other planned to enter South Goa via Pollem border and Castlerock border.
A young widow from Madhya Pradesh Sahodradevi Rai was, holding the Indian tricolour and leading the group of Satyagrahis along with others at Patradevi. As their group tried to enter Goa, she was shot and hot injured.
At this juncture, 25-year-old Sardar Karnail Singh Benipal of Isru village in Punjab came forward and challenged the police to shoot him instead of attacking women. He too was shot on the Goa border at Patradevi and became a martyr.
This incidence in Goa’s history is hardly known at the National level wherein several unarmed Satyagrahis from various parts of India were shot by Portuguese authorities on August 15, 1955. These unarmed satyagrahis believed that Goa is an integral part of India and that without the liberation of Goa, India’s independence would be incomplete.