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Wednesday, November 4, 1998 Published at 14:12 GMT

World: South Asia

New law proposed to contain organised crime in Bombay

The authorities in the western Indian state of Maharashtra have announced plans to introduce a new law to contain organised crime -- a particular problem in the state capital, Bombay.

The legislation proposes the setting up of special courts to try such crimes, the imposition of the death penalty on offenders and a special protection scheme for witnesses.

The BBC Bombay correspondent says the move follows a recent increase in the murder of businessmen who refuse to pay extortion money to underworld gangs.

But our correspondent says the proposals have caused concern among human rights groups who fear it will give too much authority to a police force which already faces allegations of abusing its power.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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