FOUR MEMBERS of a family, including a mother and her three daughters, were burnt alive as stalkers allegedly set fire on the house at Mirzapur upazila in Tangail early Tuesday. The deceased are Hasna Begum, 35, wife of Malaysia expatriate Mazibar Rahman of Dakkhin Sohagpara village under Gorai union and their three daughters Monira Akter, 14, Moli Akter, 6, and Meem Akter. Zahangir Hossain, 25, son of Bahar Uddin of the same village, also a Singapore expat, was engaged to Monira three years ago, said Saleh Mohammed Tanvir, Superintendent of Police in Tangail. But last year, Monira denied marrying him that started the altercation between the two families, the police official added. Angry Zahangir, along with his accomplices, bought two cans of petrol from a nearby refueling station and set fire to the one-storey house of Monira around 2:00 am, he said. The family died instantly inside the house, locals said. Later, Fire Service and Civil Defense men from Mirzapur along with police went to the spot and recovered burnt bodies of Hasna and daughters from the same room of the house. The report is indicative of a society that is dysfunctional at multiple levels. The engagement of an eleven years old girl to a twenty-one-year man is completely illegal to begin with – indicating that both the families were at fault – even if they were married this year the girl would still be underage as the legal age of marriage is eighteen for girls. This also means that the parents were not worried about registering the marriage by faking the age of the girl-also indicative that corrupt collusive practices exists among the marriage registrars of the country – although they should be most vigilant about the laws of the land. Then the young man and his assorted group of villains were able to buy two cans of petrol from a filling station – there are regulations which forbid stations from selling so-called loose petrol cans to individuals unless they can prove that they have cars which are nearby and can’t run. It simply proves that money can buy anything in Bangladesh if one wishes so. This occurs mostly due to the fact that the police are inept in their handling of such cases – indeed of any cases, as they are overly politicized and their rank and file are too busy obeying the orders of their political leaders to bother with the handling of such cases which seem insignificant to them. In the process, we are just destroying all our institutions who are supposed to uphold the democratic practices in our political and private life.