In a new twist, a renegade Taliban militia, the Suicide Group of the Islamic Movement of Afghanistan, has taken responsibility for killing Indian author Sushmita Banerjee, claiming she was an "Indian spy".
"We killed Sushmita Banerjee because she is an Indian spy," the group's spokesman Qari Hamza told The Daily Beast, the online home of Newsweek magazine. He admitted that his men kidnapped, harshly interrogated, and then killed her.
"We took her from her house, investigated her for three hours and then left her dead," he said. Banerjee, 49, was married to Afghan businessman Jaanbaz Khan and recently moved back to Afghanistan to live with him.
Taliban group claims responsibility for killing Indian author Sushmita Banerjee
She was killed by militants in eastern Paktika province of Afghanistan last week. According to the news portal, Hamza claimed that during their "investigation Sushmita Banerjee also disclosed the names of other agents and we will go after them as well".
The writer's relatives and friends in Kolkata have alleged there was a conspiracy by her husband and demanded a "proper probe" into her death.
Banerjee's book "Kabuliwalar Bangali Bou" (A Kabuliwala's Bengali Wife), about her escape from the Taliban in 1995, became a bestseller in India and was made into the Bollywood film "Escape From Taliban" in 2003.
The memoir focused on her life in Afghanistan with her husband and her escape from the militants.