US warns its citizens to be cautious while traveling to India

Washington, Jan 11: The United States Administration of President Donald Trump has warned its citizens to exercise maximum caution while traveling to India due to a spurt in crime and terrorism.

The advisory has been issued by the United States State Department, which asked the 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 travelers 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 travelers to states with Naxalite activity must receive special authorization from the US Consulate responsible for the area to be visited. US officials traveling only to the capital cities in these states do not need prior authorization,” it added.

(With Agency inputs)

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