An arranged marriage destined for hell – wife burned husband to death in bathtub at home in Texas

Shriya Patel allegedly killed husband a week after reaching the US.

By Deepak Chitnis

Shriya Patel (courtesy of Austin Police Department)
Shriya Patel (courtesy of Austin Police Department)

WASHINGTON, DC: The trial for Shriya Biman Patel, a 27 year-old Indian-origin woman from Austin, Texas, officially got underway as she faces the possibility of life behind bars after immolating her husband in a bathtub two years ago.

On April 17, 2012, Patel allegedly lured her husband, 29 year-old Bimal Patel, into the bathtub of their house. She then poured gasoline on him and set him on fire, shutting the bathroom door so he couldn’t get out. Bimal somehow survived the incident, and was transferred to the San Antonio Military Medical Center to be treated for severe burns, but ultimately succumbed to his wounds five months later.

However, Patel’s defense team is arguing that her husband forced his wife to set him on fire, saying that he wanted to commit suicide and that Shriya Patel was compelled to oblige her husband’s demands.

Prosecutors have shot down this theory by arguing that the couple had an arranged marriage, meaning that Patel never loved her husband and may have resented him for marrying her, thus causing her to kill him.

Born in India but brought up in the US, Bimal Patel was raised in Amarillo, Texas, and went to Texas Tech for his undergraduate studied. He then moved to Austin to get involved with business, either starting his own or working for a small one. His parents, however, were very traditional, according to reports, and arranged his marriage to Shriya via an online matrimony service.

Shriya, 25 at the time of her husband’s death, took about one year for her visa and passport to be arranged and for her to finally come to the US. It was only about a week after coming to the US that her husband died, either at his own behest or at the hands of his wife.

At the time of incident, police responded to a domestic fire call around 9:00 PM, and there was a strong smell of gas emanating from within the couple’s residence. They were living in the Camden Apartments on Metric Avenue, in the northern part of Austin. Medical responders found Bimal Patel screaming out “Why did she burn me? All I was trying to do was love her!”

Reports at the time also indicated that the sprinkler heads in the apartment had been covered with plastic bags, and that the smoke alarms had been disabled, indicating that the event was pre-meditated.

Now, Patel is charged with capital murder, aggravated assault, and arson with the intent to cause bodily injury and death. If she is convicted and receives life in prison, she will never be eligible for parole, either.

To contact the author, email to deepakchitnis@americanbazaaronline.com

5 Comments

  1. Tamela n Texas

    B/S… Why the hell did she get off that easy? Bet if I went over their and did this I’d be stoned to death!! Sad what this country does for non-citizens!!

    • Stupid much? There’s no stoning in India you are talking about the Middle East when you refer to stoning women. Go back to grade 3 and learn geography again.

  2. Jat Sakas are not skinny Dravi

    LMFAO, we should deport all Brahmins and Patels from India, they’re sellouts and a bunch of crooks also.

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