Foreign missions advise their nationals caution in India

July 31st, 2008 - 6:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 31 (IANS) In the wake of serial bomb blasts in Bangalore and Ahmedabad and explosives being found in Gujarat’s Surat city, various embassies and missions in India have issued special advisories to their citizens to exercise “high degree of caution” while travelling in the country. In an advisory issued Wednesday, the US government has appealed to its citizens travelling or residing in India to maintain a high level of vigilance following serial blasts in the country.”

“Several bombs were detected and defused Tuesday in Surat, Gujarat. The discovery of these bombs follows blasts in Bangalore in Karnataka and Ahmedabad in Gujarat that left 50 dead and many injured. Police are actively investigating bomb threats across the country, including in Kolkata and Chennai,” the advisory said.

The advisory added: “The American citizens are encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance, remain aware of their surroundings, monitor local news reports, avoid crowded places, and take appropriate steps to bolster their personal security.”

Besides the US, many other countries, including Australia, Britain and Canada have issued similar travel alerts to their citizens.

“We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in India because of the high risk of terrorist activity by militant groups,” said the travel alert from the Australian government’s department of foreign affairs and trade.

The alert, issued after the serial blasts, urged Australians to avoid unnecessary local travel in the areas affected by the blasts and to heed the advice of local authorities.

Canada’s department of foreign affairs has appealed to its citizens to be vigilant during the days of national significance for India, such as Republic Day (January 26) and Independence Day (August 15), as militants have used such occasions to mount attacks in the past.

“Celebration venues, prominent government buildings, public transport, places of worship and public areas are potential targets for such attacks,” the advisory said.

Giving a detailed account of the terrorist attack after 2006, the advisory appeals to foreign citizens to avoid visiting places on the hit list of terrorists.

“Cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Varanasi may be placed on heightened alert by local authorities at short notice. An increased police presence and tighter security restrictions may be imposed any time,” the advisory by Canadian government said.

The violent protests by Gujjars in Rajasthan and demonstrations in Darjeeling have also found space in the advisory issued by Australia.

“You should avoid protests and demonstrations throughout India as they may become violent. Australians are urged to monitor international and local media, to avoid protests where possible,” the advisory said.

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