Rickshaw driver Bunty Sharma kills American wife, sets himself on fire

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 23 February, 2014, 5:48am
UPDATED : Sunday, 23 February, 2014, 5:48am


An Indian rickshaw driver stabbed his American wife to death before setting himself ablaze, in a violent end to a whirlwind romance scripted in the backdrop of the Taj Mahal, police said yesterday.

Bunty Sharma, 32, killed 35-year-old Arian Willingar from Pennsylvania on a deserted roadside in the tourist city of Agra after the couple had a fight late on Thursday, senior police officer Shalabh Mathur said. Sharma later committed suicide by setting himself on fire, he said.

The couple first met when Willingar visited Agra last July with her friends to see the Taj Mahal, the world famous monument of love. Romance blossomed, they got married and began living together, but soon had a falling-out over suspicions of infidelity.

Sharma accused her "of smoking too much, talking to other men and not staying at home", The Indian Express newspaper reported.

The US embassy in New Delhi refused to comment on the case but Mathur cited embassy officials as saying that they had informed the victim's family about her death.

The case grabbed headlines yesterday, with local newspapers offering details of their Bollywood-style romance.

At the end of her trip last July, Willingar stayed back as her friends returned home, and she married Sharma in a ceremony held on the rooftop of a hotel located in the backdrop of the Taj Mahal.

But the romance soon fizzled out and the couple began living separately in December, news reports said.

The Times of India featured a black-and-white mugshot of the couple on its front page, showing Willingar dressed as a traditional Indian bride.