I personally knew Sushmita Banerjee. She came to my home to tell her stories when I lived in Kolkata in 2004-2007. She told me many horror stories of her life– how she a Bengali woman married an Afghan and how she escaped from Afghanistan, came back to Kolkata, wrote her memoir, and became popular overnight.
I was really shocked when I heard that Sushmita was shot dead by the Taliban in Afghanistan. I have no idea why she went to Afghanistan. Her decision of going back to that country was no doubt wrong. Was that for love? Love kills women.
Sushmita escaped the Taliban in 1995. This year she returned to Afghanistan, the country which was supposed to be better now, and started working as a health assistence at a local hospital. After months of working quite peacefully, Sushmta had to die. The Taliban came to her husband’s house at night, tied up her husband and others, dragged her out of the house and killed her! Do the Taliban need to tie up others when they kill one? May be they need. Or maybe they don’t. Maybe someone from her in-laws informed the Taliban that Sushmita, the ‘immoral woman’, who fled husband’s house and wrote bad about them was there, maybe those men knew about her deeds and whereabouts from other sources. Or they were angry with her because she worked outside home and gave vaccines. Polio activists get killed in those areas. Maybe she did not wear her burqa properly. I can’t stop thinking of her.
I do not know about the conspiracy behind killing Sushmita, but I know why she was killed. She was killed, no matter by whom, the Taliban or not, because of patriarchy , misogyny and religion.