This undated photo provided by local police, shows Indian man Bunty Sharma and his American wife Erin W. Willinger in Agra, India. — Photo by AP
This undated photo provided by local police, shows Indian man Bunty Sharma and his American wife Erin W. Willinger in Agra, India. — Photo by AP
In this picture, the burnt  house of Bunty Sharma, 32, an auto rickshaw driver, is seen, in Agra, India. — Photo by AP
In this picture, the burnt house of Bunty Sharma, 32, an auto rickshaw driver, is seen, in Agra, India. — Photo by AP
Indian policemen investigate an auto rickshaw of  Bunty Sharma, 32, outside his house, in Agra, India. — Photo by AP
Indian policemen investigate an auto rickshaw of Bunty Sharma, 32, outside his house, in Agra, India. — Photo by AP

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

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 Thursday, senior police officer Shalabh Mathur told AFP.

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 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.

“We are preserving the body of the victim until further instructions from the embassy,” Mathur said.

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

At the end of her July trip, Willingar stayed back as her friends returned home and 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, 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.


Do you have information you wish to share with Dawn.com? You can email our News Desk to share news tips, reports and general feedback. You can also email the Blog Desk if you have an opinion or narrative to share, or reach out to the Special Projects Desk to send us your Photos, or Videos.

More From This Section

Comments (5) Closed


S Bara
Feb 22, 2014 03:32pm

Headline news reporting by Dawn.

GA
Feb 22, 2014 06:06pm

Very tragic for both of them but the falling out should be expected in marriages like these. Too much difference and social structure and backgrounds. It only works in movies. RIP.

Ali Shah
Feb 22, 2014 07:05pm

It is a sad end to the couple's story but why is this front page news for DAWN? I sincerely hope that DAWN is not going down a typical tabloid route

abdullah mujahid
Feb 23, 2014 10:47am

A Indian on the outside but an American soul on the inside,its sad to say but many lose their values,honor,heritage after being in the states and absorbing the lifestyle.

Roxana R
Feb 23, 2014 05:05pm

@abdullah mujahid: I doubt the gentleman ever visited the United States. What I see is an infatuated couple that disregarded all the huge cultural differences in a rush to marriage which was doomed by their naivety. It is sad.