A senior executive of a sick private company died after being allegedly attacked by a few disgruntled workers in Odisha's Dhenkanal district, police said on Wednesday.
A group of casual workers waylaid the vehicle of 45-year-old Siba Narayan Mishra, additional vice-president with Mangilall Rungta Ferro Alloys, at Tulasidiha village, about 70 km west of Bhubaneswar, on Tuesday when he was on his way to the factory.
They dragged Mishra out of the vehicle, assaulted him with iron rods till he became unconscious and left him bleeding on the road. Mishra was rushed to a hospital in Cuttack in a critical condition, but succumbed to his injuries later.
In his statement before he died, Mishra told the police he was attacked by the group of workers who have been demanding for regularisation of their jobs.
"We arrested two workers on Wednesday after they were named by Mishra in his statement. Involvement of others in the crime is being investigated," said Dhenkanal superintendent of police Nikhil Kanodia.
The accused, Sujit Sahoo, 24 and Tikayat Pradhan, 25, were casual workers at the factory which was closed down 4 years ago. They told the police that they had been urging the factory authorities to increase their salary and regularise them.
Sources said at least 29 casual workers of the factory had filed cases in the court of district labour office recently. District labour officer PK Mohanty had convened a meeting of factory authorities and workers on the issue of regularisation of the workers, but the talks had failed.
The case is now pending in a labour court in Bhubaneswar.