Sagres the Portuguese vessel on a good-will visit to Goa sailed into the Mormugao Port on Friday gracefully even as the Bharatiya Janata Party held a protest at the Vasco junction with black flags and placards.
The vessel bears testimony to the marine technology prevalent in the bygone era as even though its design is more than 100 years old and though the vessel itself dates prior to the Second World War, it showed no signs of age at it stood anchored majestically at Berth no. 10 of the Mormugao Port.
Commodore Luis Pedro Pinto Proenca Mendes, commanding the vessel opined that it was a floating embassy of Portugal reliving the Portuguese maritime history. The ship; has a crew of 138 including one who mother’s roots lay in Goa.
Meanwhile, the BJP led a protest meeting at the Vasco junction accusing the Government of being fascinated with the Western world and not paying any respect to the sentiments of local freedom fighters who were harassed and tortured by the Portuguese.
BJP spokesperson and former MLA Rajendra Arlekar leading the protest further accused the government of preferring to go with a begging bowl to the Portuguese instead of judiciously utilizing the funds available with the Indian Government.
However, Portugal downplayed the demonstration with its Consul General in Goa Dr. Antonio Jose Marques Sabido Costa who said that everybody has a right to express his view and added that his government respects the views.
However, he said Sagres was only on a goodwill visit to Goa to build bridges and not anything more.