21st September 1890 is perhaps one of the darker days in the annuls of Goan history. During the Portuguese rule, the people of Goa had been given a few democratic rights. One of them was the right to vote in the election of the Municipality of Salcete. But on the unfortunate day, during the 1890 election, 23 innocent Goans lost their lives at the hands of the Portuguese army.

Inspite of rigged elections that year, the result did not go in favor of the then Portuguese Governor of Goa, Vasco Guedes Carvalho de Menezes. Annoyed, he dissolved the Camara Municipal de Salcete and called for re-election.

On the day of the election, as elections were going on, some people observed irregularities in the election process and gathered in the vicinity of the Holy Spirit Church, Margao. The army was called in to subdue the protesters. Even though the people had calmed down by the time the force arrived, officials gave the order to open fire. Innocent civilians lost their lives as the crowd scattered around the area for cover.

September 21, 1890 will be remembered for years to come for the sacrifice made by innocent Goans to fight for the rights of the masses


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