Sunday, May 2, 2010

India Travel Warnings Issued

This advice has been reviewed and reissued. It contains new information under Safety and Security: Terrorism (Australians advised to avoid markets in New Delhi). The overall level of the advice has not changed.
• On 21 April the United States and Canada issued separate warnings about possible attacks against markets frequented by foreigners in New Delhi. According to these warnings, specific and credible information suggests that markets including Chandni Chowk, Connaught Place, Greater Kailash, Karol Bagh, Mehrauli, and Sarojini Nagar could be targeted by terrorists in the coming days or weeks. Information received on 1 May suggests that attacks against markets in New Delhi may be imminent. Australians should avoid all markets in New Delhi.
• We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in India at this time because of the high risk of terrorist activity by militant groups.
• On 29 April 2010 the Indian Government issued an alert warning that terrorist attacks are likely in Kolkata, including at Kolkata airport. Australians in Kolkata are encouraged to exercise caution in public areas and to monitor local media.
• Pay close attention to your personal security at all times and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time anywhere in India with little or no warning.
• In November 2008, over 170 people were killed and more than 300 were injured in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks targeting places frequented by Westerners in Mumbai. Australians were among the casualties. You should take particular care when visiting places that may be terrorist targets. See the Terrorism section below for details.
• We continue to receive reporting that terrorists plan to attack public places, including hotels locations, in New Delhi and other cities. Many past attacks in Indian cities have been indiscriminate rather than directed at a particular target.
• Credible reporting suggests that terrorists may be planning attacks in India directed at hotels frequented by foreigners, including perceived western owned hotels.
• Terrorists may be planning attacks against Indian political and security interests.
• There is a continuing threat from terrorism throughout India and major secular and religious holidays could provide terrorist groups an opportunity or pretext to stage an attack.
• India will host the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi (3-14 October 2010). We advise travellers who are attending the Games to register their travel and contact details in advance of their trip.
• Violent protests and demonstrations occur frequently throughout India. Australians are urged to avoid protests, to monitor international and local media, and to follow the instructions of local authorities.
• We advise you not to travel to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, other than to the Ladakh region via Manali, or by air to the city of Leh, due to frequent armed clashes and terrorist activities.
• We advise you not to travel in the immediate vicinity of the border with Pakistan, other than at the international border crossing at Atari-Wagah.
• We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to the north-eastern states of Assam, Nagaland, Tripura and Manipur because of the risk of armed robbery, kidnapping, extortion and terrorism-related incidents. If you do decide to travel to these areas, you should exercise extreme caution.
• The Indian Government has announced changes to tourist visa regulations that may affect Australian travellers. See Entry and Exit Requirements for details.