An elderly Dalit man who had taken a loan from a moneylender was set on fire by the latter’s four associates at Magdijhara village near here.

Narayan Khangar (65), suffered 60 per cent burns and his condition is said to be critical, Sub-Divisional Officer of Police Shiv Singh said.

Usha Dhakad, Lalaram Dhakad, Sultan Dhakad and Bhura Dhakad poured kerosene on Khangar after they found him working on the field they had grabbed in lieu of the loan.

The altercation began when Khangar refused to leave his land and threatened to lodge a complaint, Mr. Singh said.

Cases have been registered against all four, who are absconding, under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code and the relevant Sections of the Prevention of Atrocities against Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes Act, he said.

District Magistrate Manish Kumar said a compensation of Rs. 50,000 and Rs. 2,000 for medical treatment has been given to Khangar.