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Published On: Thu, Jan 11th, 2018

US warns Americans to be cautious while traveling to India

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freign-12-1513085812WASHINGTON : The United States Administration of President Donald Trump has warned Americans to exercise maximum caution while travelling to India due to a spurt in crime and terrorism.
The United States has put India under ‘Level 2’ category on it’s travel advisory scale.Level 2 means that Americans need to exercise ‘increased caution’.In India, travellers need to take “increased caution due to crime and terrorism”, the advisory reads.
It also specifically instructs Americans to not travel to Jammu and Kashmir – except Eastern Ladakh and Leh.Women have been specifically asked not to travel alone and read that violent crimes like rapes have taken place at tourist spots.

The advisory informed it’s citizens that rape was the fastest growing crime in India.Recently a Swiss couple was assaulted while they were visting Fatehpur Sikiri in Uttar Pradesh.

While referring to the Naxalite groups in East Central India, the advisory issues another warning to it’s citizens that ‘armed groups are active in these parts of the country.

The US said its new travel advisory is simpler and replaces all previous travel warnings and alerts. The advisory has been issued by the US State Department, which asked the American citizens to avoid going to Jammu and Kashmir except for the Buddhist-dominated region of Ladakh.
The State Department had on Wednesday launched improvements on sharing information with US travellers to provide clear, timely and reliable safety and security information.
“Exercise increased caution in India due to crime and terrorism. Some areas have increased risk,” the State Department advisory said. It asked Americans not to travel to Jammu and Kashmir (except Ladakh region and its capital Leh) due to terrorism and civil unrest.

It also warned of potential armed conflict within 10 km of the India-Pakistan border in the state.”The 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,” the advisory said.

“Terrorist or armed groups are active in East Central India, primarily in rural areas,” the advisory said, referring to the armed Naxalites.”Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets and shopping malls and local government facilities,”’it said.
“The US government has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in rural areas from eastern Maharashtra and northern Telangana through western West Bengal as US government employees must obtain special authorization to travel to these areas,” it said.

The advisory further suggested that Americans desiring to visit India must not travel alone, particularly if they were women.”US citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations,” the advisory said.

“Due to the fluid nature of the threat, all US government travellers to states with Naxalite activity must receive special authorization from the US Consulate responsible for the area to be visited. US officials travelling only to the capital cities in these states do not need prior authorization,” it added.
(With IANS inputs)

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