Bolangir (Orissa): A senior official of a private steel plant died after his vehicle was set on fire by some persons outside the factory at Titlagarh, about 75 km from here on Thursday, police said.

R S Roy, Deputy General Manager (Operations) of Graphite India Ltd-Powmex steel division was coming out of the plant in a jeep along with two others during lunch break when the incident took place, SP Ajaya Kumar Sadangi said.

Some of the suspended workers, who were staging a dharna outside the plant for the past several months, stopped the car and asked the driver and others to disembark, he said.

As the driver and two others got down, some persons suddenly set fire to the vehicle with Roy sitting inside the car, Sadangi said, adding the DGM sustained severe burns and was immediately taken to Titilagarh sub-divisional hospital.

He was then shifted to Ispat General Hospital (IGH) at Rourkela when he passed away in Bolangir town, Sadangi said.

The agitating labourers received information that the factory authorities were planning to terminate the services of some of them, police said.

Though the vehicle was stopped by the agitating labourers, it was not immediately clear as to who set the vehicle on fire, they said.

(Agencies)