Cuncolim Revolt - Portuguese Retaliation and Aftermath

Portuguese Retaliation and Aftermath

Following the massacre, the captain-major in charge of the Portuguese Army garrison at the Assolna Fort was determined to avenge the deaths of the Jesuit priests. As retribution, the Portuguese army raided and destroyed orchards in the village and unleashed many atrocities on the local population.

The Kshatriya ganvkars of Cuncolim were then invited for talks at the Assolna fort situated on the banks of the River Sal where the present-day Assolna church stands and in an act of treachery, sixteen of them were summarily executed without trial by the Portuguese authorities. One of them escaped execution by jumping into the Assolna River through a toilet hole and fleeing to neighbouring Karwar in the present day state of Karnataka.

Following the execution of their leaders, the villages of Cuncolim, Velim, Assolna, Ambelim and Veroda refused to pay taxes on the produce generated from their fields and orchards to the Portuguese government. As a result, their lands were confiscated and entrusted to the Condado of the Marquis of Fronteira. Forcible conversions perpetrated by the Portuguese led the villagers of Cuncolim to move their places of worship. One of the temples of the goddess Shri Shantadurga Cuncolikarian was moved to the neighboring village of Fatorpa some seven kilometres away. Most of Cuncolim's population was converted to Christianity, in the years following the massacre. The Church of Nossa Senhora de Saude was constructed by the Portuguese at the site of the massacre.

In 2003, a memorial to the slain chieftains was constructed in Cuncolim, initiative of Prof. Vermissio Coutinho, head of the Cuncolim Chieftains Memorial Trust. Prior to its construction, however, the memorial met with strong opposition from the local Catholic parish, on the grounds of its proximity to another memorial built 102 years ago in memory of the five slain Jesuit priests. They instead argued that the memorial should be built in Assolna, where the chieftains were massacred.

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