Ranesh Maitra, freedom fighter and award-winning journalist, dies at 89

Maitra, who also made his mark as a politician and a columnist, died during treatment at a hospital in Dhaka

Pabna Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 26 Sept 2022, 06:15 AM
Updated : 26 Sept 2022, 06:15 AM

Ranesh Maitra, a veteran of the Language Movement and the Liberation War who won the Ekushey Padak for his contributions to journalism, has died at the age of 89.

He passed away at Dhaka’s Popular Hospital around 3:45 am on Monday, according to Shaikat Afroz Asad, secretary of the Pabna Press Club.

Members of the family say Maitra had taken ill on Thursday and was admitted to the hospital in Dhaka on Friday when his fever rose. His condition deteriorated on Sunday night.

Maitra’s wife, Purobi Maitra, is the president of the Pabna branch of the Bangladesh Mohila Parishad. He also leaves behind two sons and three daughters. One of his sons lives in Australia. The family plans to hold the funeral once he has returned to Bangladesh.

Maitra was born on Oct 4, 1933 in Rajshahi’s Nohati Village. His ancestral home was in Bhulbaria in Pabna’s Shanthia Upazila. His father, Ramesh Chandra, was a primary school teacher.

In 1950, Maitra passed his SSC exams from Pabna’s GCI School and was admitted to Pabna’s Edward College. From there he completed his HSC in 1955 and his undergraduate degree in 1959.

Maitra was a member of many movements in the country, joining the Language Movement protests in 1952 and the Liberation War in 1971. He also served jail time alongside Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

At the start of the Liberation War, Maitra became a member of the Pabna Sangram Committee.

He was involved in politics since his student days through the Students' Union. In 1993, he joined the Gono Forum alongside Kamal Hossain. In 2013, he joined the Oikya-NAP.

Maitra started his career in journalism in 1993, working for the Sylhet weekly publication Naobelal. He worked at the Kolkata-published daily Satyajug before joining the daily Sangbad in 1955.

From the 1960s through 2000, he worked at the Daily Morning News and the Daily Observer as well. He also served as the local news editor for The New Nation and the Pabna correspondent for The Daily Star.

Even after his retirement, Maitra wrote columns for a number of publications. He also served as the president and secretary of the Pabna Press Club for extended periods of time.

In 2018, he was awarded the Ekushey Padak, the country's second highest civilian award, for his contributions to journalism.

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