The fire-brand peasant leader Mitra was a veteran leader of the communist movement in the sub-continent, a dedicated friend to the cause of our war of liberation in 1971.
Her paternal house at the village in Shailkupa upazila, 40 kilometers away from Jhenaidah district town, is now in ruins and partly occupied by others and her land grabbed.
When this correspondent visited the area, he witnessed that the house was decaying as the repairing and maintenance work of it was not done at all.
Locals said some Kiamuddin Hazi with his family was living there.
Visiting the house he found that sons of one Hazi Kiam Uddin living there
Kiamuddin's son Abdur Rashid said, his father had purchased the house from the successors of Mitra where they had been living with valid documents.
They could not start any renovation or maintenance work as the rivals in the village had been attacking the house frequently due to rivalry.
Mitra led the historic Tebhagha Andolon (a movement favoring the peasants) against the British rules had demanded at least two-third of the crops for the farmers, while one -third by the so-called land owners during the British reign.
Although she was born in an upper middleclass family, she started her life as a communist activist in 1945.
Ila married Ramendra Mitra, who w also from the Zaminder family in Chapainawabganj in greater Rajshahi leading his life as a communist.
He participated in peasant’s movement better known as Tebhaga Andolon against the British rulers.
Ila Mitra's forefathers were living at Bagutia village of Sailkupa upazila in Jhenaidah then. As Ila left Sailkupa after her marriage with Ramendra Mitra, started living in Chapainawabganj.
Ila was arrested by police on January 5 of 1950 as she organised a Shantal peasants movement in Nachole upazila of Chapainawabganj district and she was tortured. She was arrested again while was trying to escape from the police clutch and sent to Rajshahi Central Jail on February 21 in the same year. After a trial for treason Ila Mitra was sentenced for life in imprisonment.
For heavy physical and mental torture by the rulers, Ila Mitra got sick in prison. The United Front Government released her on parole and sent to Kolkata for her treatment. Ila did not return back to Pakistan and breather her life in India.
Ila Mitra was born and brought up in Calcutta as her father Nagendranath was a service holder there.
Now, most people in the area are not aware about this aristocratic lady who sacrificed her life for the downtrodden people. Asked about her house, some villagers said they only know that this house belonged to a rebel person.
In her student life she got involved in student politics. She was also an athletic in India and she was expert in basket ball. After her marriage she came to Bangladesh. She started to teach students in girls' school which was established by her husband and his friend Altaf Hossain of the village. Then she declared in the school "Sabar Janya shikha". Side by side she got involved in the distress of the peasants of Nachole in Chapanababganj.
At the time, the English ruled the Bangladesh in 1945. The Second World War was going on. The whole country was busy in anti government movement for dividing land of the peasants. The peasants of Nachole were the heart of the movement. The peasants of Nachole and Sautals were in the role of the movement. This is why this movement is known as "Nachole biddrho". Ila was the ring leader from 1946 to 1950 in the Nachole biddroho.
She died in October, 14, 2002.
Sultana Zaman, student of Law department Kushtia Islami University and resident of Bagutia village said, her ancestral property should be protected.
“She is our pride,” she added.
Didarul Alam, upazila nirbahi officer, said: “The house might be the tourist spot if the steps should be taken.”
Local leader of Communist Party of Bangladesh Swapan Bagchi urged the government to take steps to save the historical home.
On the 91st birth anniversary of Ila Mitra, Ila Mitra Memory Preservation Council organised a human chain in front in Post office intersection under the town in the morning demanding to save the historical residence.
Goutam Bose, president of the council, said: “The historical residence of Ila Mitra should be reconstructed as an important memorial to her.
“She sacrificed her whole life fighting for the peasants. The government should take proper care of this dilapidated building,” he also said.
Local Awami League leader Ekramul Haque Liku, Sushenra Kumar Bhowmik, Abdus Salam and Suman Shikder alos spoke in the function.
Later, they submitted a memorandum to Deputy Commissioner Mahbub Alam Talukdar.
Ila Mitra Srity Sangrakkhan Parishad organized human chain in front of National Press Club recently.