An elderly Dalit man, who had taken loan taken from a moneylender, was set on fire by four associates of the lender at Magdijhara village near Shivpuri.
Narayan Khangar (65), suffered 60 per cent burn injuries and his condition is critical, Sub Divisional Officer of Police (SDOP) Shiv Singh said.
Usha Dhakad, Lalaram Dhakad, Sultan Dhakad and Bhura Dhakad poured kerosene on Khangar after they found him working on an agricultural field which they had grabbed in lieu of the loan, the police said.
The altercation began when Khangar refused to leave the farmland and threatened to register a complaint, Singh said.
All the four are absconding after the incident and they have booked under section 307 (attempt to murder) of IPC and relevant sections of Prevention of Atrocities of SC/ST Act, he said.
District Magistrate Manish Kumar said Rs 50,000 compensation has been given to Khangar and Rs 2000 for his medical treatment.