Workers of a steel plant in Orissa burnt a manager to death on Wednesday by setting on fire his vehicle while he was on his way home for lunch.
Industrial unrest was going on in the plant for quite some time over demands for pay hike and promotions. A year-and-a-half ago, the management had suspended about 60 workers.
Tension peaked on Wednesday after the management reportedly prepared dismissal letters of 11 workers. After AK Ray’s death, the management has decided to shut down the plant for an indefinite period.
Sources said AK Ray, 61, deputy general manager of Powmex Steel at Titlagarh in Balangir district, about 450km southwest of Bhubaneswar, was waylaid at about 1.30 pm by about 30 agitating workers.
They doused Ray's car with petrol and kerosene and torched it with Ray inside the car. Some locals rescued Ray and rushed him to the district headquarters hospital, where he died. "He had sustained 90% burns," said a doctor at the hospital.
Ray, who had retired from the plant, had been given an extension. He is survived by his wife and three daughters.
The plant, now owned by Graphite India Ltd, started with a Rs 100-crore seed capital in 1991. It has about 500 regular and contractual workers. The details of company’s present investment and turnover were not immediately available.