A number of governments have stepped up risk advisories to their citizens travelling or residing in New Delhi about militant attacks that could happen in the days ahead.
According to the Travel Alert and Warden Message from the US embassy in the Indian capital yesterday, May 1, 2010, there were “increased indications that terrorists are planning imminent attacks in New Delhi”.
Recipients of the statement were adviced to stay away from places, targeted by terrorists in the past, where US citizens or Westerners are known to congregate such as the markets of Chandni Chowk, Connaught Place, Greater Kailash, Karol Bagh, Mehrauli and Sarojini Nagar. They were counseled: “If you are in an area where unattended packages are spotted, you should immediately exit the area and report the packages to the authorities.”
This is the strongest warning from a foreign embassy, since various warnings were issued by the US, UK, Canadian and Australian governments since mid-April, urging utmost caution when visiting shopping area and markets in major Indian cities, particularly Delhi.
In February, a bomb ripped through a crowded restaurant popular with travellers in the western city of Pune, killing 16 people, including five foreigners.
It was first major incident since the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which 10 Islamist gunmen launched an assault on multiple targets in India’s financial capital, killing 166 people.
Margie T Logarta