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Indian state plans ordinance against attacks on journalists

Move to protect reporters follows recent attacks on Indian journalists

The Indian state of Maharashtra is planning to introduce an ordinance laying down stringent punishment for attacks on journalists.

This was announced by the state chief minister, Ashok Chavan, while addressing a delegation of journalists who have been demanding a comprehensive law to protect them against assault from people outraged at their reporting.

"We are committed to preventing attacks on journalists. A draft bill is ready. Efforts are on to table the proposed law before the next cabinet meeting, following which the ordinance will be forwarded to the governor for approval,'' Chavan is reported to have said.

The move follows a recent series of attacks on Indian journalists. The latest one occurred last Tuesday when a reporter for an Indian TV news channel was attacked by a local mob while covering a fire in the state's capital, Mumbai.