'Terrorists may target tourist locations in India': US in travel advisory
Washington, Oct 07: The United States on Friday in its latest award asked its citizens to exercise "increased caution" while visiting India due to "crime and terrorism" and asked them to refrain from travelling to the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir due to "civil unrest".
"Indian authorities report rape is one of the fastest growing crimes in India. Violent crime, such as sexual assault, has occurred at tourist sites and in other locations," said the travel advisory.
"Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and government facilities," the advisory added.
"The US government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in rural areas from eastern Maharashtra and northern Telangana through western West Bengal as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorisation to travel to these areas," it further said.
Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir - Level 4: Do Not Travel
Terrorist attacks and violent civil unrest are possible in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Avoid all travel to this state (with the exception of visits to the eastern Ladakh region and its capital, Leh). Sporadic violence occurs particularly along the Line of Control (LOC) separating India and Pakistan, and in tourist destinations in the Kashmir Valley: Srinagar, Gulmarg, and Pahalgam. The Indian government prohibits foreign tourists from visiting certain areas along the LOC.
India-Pakistan Border - Level 4: Do Not Travel
India and Pakistan maintain a strong military presence on both sides of the border. The only official India-Pakistan border crossing point for persons who are not citizens of India or Pakistan is in the state of Punjab between Attari, India, and Wagah, Pakistan. The border crossing is usually open but confirm the current status of the border crossing prior to commencing travel. A Pakistani visa is required to enter Pakistan. Only U.S. citizens residing in India may apply for a Pakistani visa in India. Otherwise apply for a Pakistani visa in your country of residence before traveling to India.
Northeastern States - Level 4: Do Not Travel
Incidents of violence by ethnic insurgent groups, including bombings of buses, trains, rail lines, and markets, occur occasionally in the northeast.
U.S. government employees at the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in India are prohibited from traveling to the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Manipur without special authorization from the U.S. Consulate General in Kolkata.
Central and East India - Level 4: Do Not Travel
Maoist extremist groups, or "Naxalites," are active in a large swath of India from eastern Maharashtra and northern Telangana through western West Bengal, particularly in rural parts of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand and on the borders of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, and Odisha. The Naxalites have conducted frequent terrorist attacks on local police, paramilitary forces, and government officials.
Due to the fluid nature of the threat, all U.S. government travelers to states with Naxalite activity must receive special authorization from the U.S. consulate responsible for the area to be visited. U.S. officials traveling only to the capital cities in these states do not need prior authorisation.