Hasna Begum and her three young daughters went to sleep on Monday night, after celebrating the Eid. Little did they know they would wake up no more.
After midnight, miscreants set fire to their house at Dakkhin Sohagpara village in Tangail, burning them alive.
The victims are Hasna, 35, Monira Akter, 14, Meem Akter, 10, and Molly Akter, 7. Hasna's husband Mojibor Rahman is an expatriate in Malaysia.
The tragic incident happened around 2:00am because Monira refused to marry Jahangir Hossain, 25, to whom she was engaged three years ago, relatives and neighbours said.
Police and family members suspect Jahangir did it to avenge the rejection.
Law enforcers have yet to track down Jahangir, who is from the same village, but detained three people for questioning.
Neighbours said they rushed to the house on hearing explosions and screams.
“We found the mother and her daughters burnt alive in a room. We could not save them,” said Raseh Mallick, a neighbour.
They, however, rescued Hasna's father-in-law and mother-in-law from another room of the house.
Quoting another neighbour, Raseh said three persons were seen fleeing the spot after setting fire to the house pouring petrol.
A police team along with fire service personnel from Mirzapur went to the spot around 3:00am and recovered the charred bodies of the four.
One detainee, rickshaw puller Ali Hossen, 40, told police that Jahangir hired him for Tk 200 to carry some petrol from a nearby filling station.
Police said they recovered two empty cans of petrol from Jahangir's house.
Monira's grandfather Alal Uddin told The Daily Star that the girl was engaged to Jahangir, a Singapore expatriate, under family arrangements three years ago.
The boy's family gave engagement gifts, including a ring and gold ornaments, to Monira who was a class VI student at the time. The marriage did not take place then, as Monira was a minor.
Jahangir then went to Singapore and sent Tk 1,70,000 to Monira's family from there.
The teenager, however, refused to marry Jahangir when he returned to the country a year ago, family members and locals said.
This triggered a dispute between the two families.
To settle the matter, relatives and neighbours sat for arbitration where the upazila parishad chairman was present. As per its decision, Hasna returned the engagement gifts and the money to Jahangir's family, according to locals.
Even then, Jahangir kept pressurising the family to marry Monira off to him.
To avoid any untoward situation, the girl went to her maternal grandparents' house at the adjacent village from where she was studying at Gorai Highway School.
But Jahangir continued to threaten her on way to and from the school. The girl's family lodged a complaint with the police in this regard about a week ago, locals said.
She came home on Monday to celebrate the Eid-ul-Azha with her mother and siblings, only to meet her sad end together with them all.
Monira's uncle Tofazzal Hossain filed a case against 10 people, with Jahangir as the prime accused.
Tangail Superintendent of Police Saleh Mohammad Tanvir said law enforcers were trying to arrest Jahangir.