The killing of Sushmita Banerjee, 49, on Wednesday was the latest in a series of attacks on women in the conservative Islamic country, adding to concern that hard-won women's rights are eroding ahead of next year's withdrawal of most international forces.
The Afghan Taliban denied involvement.
Banerjee, who told her story of life under the Islamist Taliban in "A Kabuliwala's Bengali Wife", was dragged from her house in lawless southeastern province of Paktika and shot as many as two dozen times, police said. Her body was found on Thursday morning near an Islamic school about three km (two miles) from her home, Paktika police chief General Dawlat Khan Zadran said.
"Gunmen entered her house at 11 p.m. on Wednesday, took her out and shot her dead," Zadran said, adding that he suspected Taliban involvement...
During their 1996-2001 reign, the Taliban banned women from education, voting and most work, and they were not allowed to leave their homes without permission and a male escort.
Banerjee, from Kolkata, moved to Afghanistan in 1989 after marrying Khan, an Afghan businessman. She converted to Islam and changed her name to Sayed Kamala. She opened a dispensary providing medicine, but her life changed dramatically in 1993, when the Taliban emerged in southern Afghanistan after years of war. Branded a woman of poor morals, she was forced to close her dispensary and whipped for refusing to wear a burqa, she said in her book.
She fled to Pakistan but was brought back by her husband's family and kept under house arrest. According to her book, she escaped in 1994 by tunneling a hole through the house's mud wall. She fled but was quickly detained near Kabul. Despite threats of execution, she convinced the Taliban to send her to the Indian embassy from where she was repatriated to India.
Her story was made into a Bollywood film, "Escape from Taliban", in 2003.
Banerjee was making a documentary about the lives of women in Paktika when she was killed, said the head of Afghanistan's National Journalists' Union, Faheem Dashty.
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