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HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

Taliban kill Indian writer Sushmita Banerjee in Afghanistan

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, September 05, 2013
First Published: 18:57 IST(5/9/2013) | Last Updated: 07:13 IST(6/9/2013)
Sushmita Banerjee, known for her memoir about her escape from the Taliban in 1995, was shot dead outside her home in Afghanistan's Paktika province by militants on Thursday.
 
Banerjee's book, A Kabuliwala's Bengali Wife, had been turned into a film titled Escape from Taliban, starring Manisha Koirala, in 2003.
 
The police said that Taliban militants arrived at her home in the provincial capital Kharana, tied up her husband and other family members, took Banerjee out and shot her.
 
A senior police official said that Banerjee, who was also known as Sayed Kamala, was working as a health worker in the province and had been filming the lives of local women as part of her work.
 
Banerjee had moved to Afghanistan in 1989 after marrying Afghan businessman Jaanbaz Khan, whom she had met in Calcutta. She wrote in an article 15 years ago that in 1993, Taliban militants ordered her to close a dispensary she was running from her house and branded her a woman of poor morals.
 
She escaped in early 1994 but her brothers-in-law tracked her down to Islamabad, where she had arrived to seek assistance from the Indian embassy, and took her back to Afghanistan to keep her under house arrest.
 
Shortly after, she tried to escape once again. "One night I made a tunnel through the mud walls of the house and fled. Close to Kabul, I was arrested. A 15-member group of the Taliban interrogated me. Many of them said that since I had fled my husband's home, I should be executed. But I was able to convince them that since I was an Indian, I had every right to go back to my country," Banerjee wrote.
 
She had recently moved back to Afghanistan to live with her husband.

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