The family members of Sushmita Banerjee, the Indian author killed in Afghanistan  earlier this month, have expressed shock over  the claims made by the Taliban that Ms. Banerjee was an “Indian spy” and reiterated their demand for a fair probe to reveal the truth behind her death. 

“We are shocked to hear that the Taliban have accused my sister of being a spy,” Gopal Banerjee,  brother of Ms. Banerjee told The Hindu here on Saturday. “What evidence do they have?,” he asked.

An Indian news agency quoted an international magazine website, where a Taliban spokesperson took responsibility for Ms. Banerjee’s death and described her as an “Indian spy.” 

“We earlier heard that the Taliban denied any involvement in her murder.  Now 10 days after her death the group takes responsibility. What are we to believe?” the sibling wondered.

“My sister visited Afghanistan in January 2013, after a long gap. The last time she had been to the country was in 1995. How can someone accuse her of being an Indian spy in such circumstances?,” Mr. Banerjee said. He pointed out that his sister was only an author who wrote about Afghanistan and nothing more.

Sushmita Banerjee married Afghan businessman Jaanbaaz Khan here and went to Afghanistan to live with him.

She wrote four books and her autobiographical account Kabuliwalar Bangalee Bou (Bengali wife of a Kabuliwala) was a bestseller and adapted for a Hindi feature film.

Ms. Banerjee was scheduled to return to the country days before she was killed there.

The family also expressed suspicion over the behaviour of Mr. Khan’s (Ms. Banerjee’s husband) family, which did not inform them about her death and gave conflicting accounts of the incident.

The brother of the 56-year-old author said the Indian government should also take note of such accusations made by a group from a foreign country and bring out the truth.