Sushmita Bandopadhyay – Kabuliwala’s Bengali Wife

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Sahabkamal, yes this was the name sushmita was given by the Talibans. In the year 1988 she married an Afghan man and with lots of hope she went to Taliban along with her husband Khan. She is well known for her writings. Especially the culture of Taliban and talibans she experienced after her marriage was clearly written by her in her book “Kabuliwalar Bangalee Bou”. This story was used by Director Ujjwal Chattopadhyay for his film “Escape from Taliban”.
Through her writing she became famous; side by side her writings endangered her life too.

Sushmita was born in Kolkata to a middle-class Bengali family. She first met her future husband Janbaz Khan, an Afghan businessman, at a theatre rehearsal in Kolkata. She married him on 2 July 1988. The marriage took place secretly in Kolkata, as she feared her parents would object to the inter-religious marriage. When her parents tried to get them divorced, she fled to Afghanistan with Khan. She discovered that her husband already had a first wife, when she found them in bed together. Although shocked, she continued to live in Khan’s ancestral house in Patiya village, with her three brothers-in-law, their wives, and with Gulguti and Gulguti’s children. Later, Khan returned to Kolkata to continue his business, but Sushmita could not return. Sahabkamal, a trained nurse in Gyanochologist, opened a clinic to help the women of the village.
Sushmita made two abortive attempts to flee from Afghanistan. She was caught and kept in house arrest in the village. A fatwa was issued against her and she was scheduled to die on 22 July 1995. With the help of the village headman, she finally fled from the village, in the process killing three Taliban men with an AK-47 rifle. She reached Kabul, and took a flight back to Kolkata on 12 August 1995.
Just because of her open writing, she was regularly threatened by the tabibani terrorist. According to Afghan police, suspected Taliban terrorists forced entry into Sushmita’s house in Paktika on the night of 4 September 2013. After that her corpse was found early the next day beside a madrasa in the outskirts. The body had 20 bullet hole marks. Police said, she might have been targeted for murder for various reasons, including her book, her social work in the region, or merely the fact that she was an Indian woman, or according to others for not wearing a Burkha for which she was sentenced to death almost two decades earlier, under the Taliban regime. Though, The Talibans denied involvement in this attack.

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  • Bee

    Time and again, man has got the upper hand…