Panipat, Apr 17: A young engineer was set ablaze by a truck driver after an argument over the ''fare'' to be paid by him for getting a lift in the truck.
Ajit Kumar, aged about 25, boarded a truck on the GT road at Bahalgarh Chowk in Sonepat late last night while coming from his factory in Gurgaon to his village Salwan in Karnal district, police said.
On the way, he had an argument with the truck driver over the ''fare'' to be paid by him. While Ajit was ready to pay Rs 50, an amount equal to the bus fare from Sonepat to his village, the driver demanded Rs 100. They started haggling over the issue, leading to a heated argument.
When Ajit did not agree to pay Rs 100, the driver and his two associates pulled him down from the truck near Samalkha, 18 km from Panipat, and thrashed him badly. They later poured diesel over him, set him afire and drove away.
The youth was later taken to PGI, Rohtak where he was admitted with 90 per cent injuries. Doctors described his condition as critical.
Police said they were hopeful of tracing the truck driver and his associates. Special police checkposts had been set up at various exit points in the area.