Kolkata, Sep 7: Describing the killing of Indian author Sushmita Banerjee in Afghanistan as “condemnable” and “unfortunate”, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Saturday said her government has asked the central government to bring her body back to Kolkata.
“I am shocked at her death. The incident is condemnable, unfortunate. We have given a letter to the external affairs ministry requesting the body be brought to Kolkata,” Banerjee told media persons at the state secretariat, Writers’ Buildings, here.
However, the author’s younger brother Gopal Banerjee, quoting her in-laws, told IANS that she was buried Thursday in Sharan city of Afghanistan’s Paktika province as per Islamic tradition.
The 49-year-old Sushmita Banerjee was beaten up and abducted by suspected Taliban gunmen from her residence in inSharan Wednesday night. Her body, riddled with bullets and some of the hair ripped from her head, was found Thursday morning.
Gopal Banerjee and his wife Debolina met Banerjee’s principal secretary Gautam Sanyal at the secretariat Saturday requesting that the state government request the centre to bring her mortal remains back.. “I could not meet Mamata as she was not there then.”
“Sanyal told me that the chief minister has already taken the initiative to bring back her mortal remains. She has started talking to the centre. I was also informed that Chief Secretary Sanjay Mitra, wo was now in Delhi, has also taken up the matter with the central government officers,” Gopal Banerjee told IANS.
Sushmita Banerjee defied her family to marry Afghan businessman Jaanbaz Khan, with whom she fell in love in Kolkata. She stayed for years with him in Afghanistan, before coming back to India.
In 1998, she wrote the bestselling memoir “Kabuliwalar Bangali Bou” (A Kabuliwala’s Bengali Wife) offering a vivid description of the suffering of women under the Taliban.
She also described her daring escape from the clutches of militants in the book, which made her a household name in Bengal.
She again returned to Afghanistan in January to be with her husband and also document the lives of the Afghan women. She had come for a brief visit to the Kolkata in July and stayed at her brother’s house before returning to Afghanistan