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Sushmita Banerjee Murdered by the Taliban After Returning to Afghanistan

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By Sami K. Martin, Christian Post Reporter
September 6, 2013|9:12 am

Indian author Sushmita Banerjee was reportedly murdered by members of the Afghanistan Taliban after returning to the country. In 1995, she wrote a book about her escape from the Taliban-controlled country, which greatly angered the organization but became a popular 2003 Bollywood film, "Escape From Taliban."

Authorities said that the Taliban came to her home in Kharana, tied up members of her family, and dragged her from the house.

"Last night around 1:30 a.m. the Taliban came to their house, broke down the door and took her alone to a different area called al-Jihad, where there is a madrassa. After that, they opened fire on her. There were 15 bullets in her body," Daulat Khan Zadran, provincial police chief in Paktika told The Guardian.

Banerjee knew she was a target for the militant organization after the publication of her memoir, "A Kabuliwala's Bengali Wife." The book detailed her life after she married her husband and moved to Afghanistan in 1989. Banerjee escaped to India after her husband left the country. The two recently returned to Afghanistan, and that's when the attack took place.

"The members of the Taliban who called on us were aghast that I, a woman, could be running a business establishment," Banerjee wrote in a column for Outlook India six years after leaving the country. "They ordered me to close down the dispensary and branded me a woman of poor morals."

Banerjee faced opposition not only from the Taliban but from her own brothers-in-law, who stopped her first attempt to leave the country in 1994. The men tracked her down to Islamabad and took her back to Afghanistan.

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"They promised to send me back to India," Banerjee recalled. "But they did not keep their promise. Instead, they kept me under house arrest and branded me an immoral woman. The Taliban threatened to teach me a lesson. I knew I had to escape."

She was eventually able to flee her relatives' home, but was caught by the Taliban, who then interrogated her for hours.

"Many of them said that since I had fled my husband's home, I should be executed," Banerjee wrote in her memoir. "However, I was able to convince them that since I was an Indian, I had every right to go back to my country. The next morning, I was taken to the Indian embassy from where I was given a safe passage. Back in Calcutta, I was reunited with my husband; I don't think he will ever be able to go back to his family."

 

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