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Travel Advisory: India 27/11/08

India

Reviewed: 27 November 2008, 15:24 NZDT
Still current at:28 November 2008

There is extreme risk to your security in Jammu and Kashmir and the India-Pakistan international border and we advise against all travel to these areas.

There is also an extreme risk to your security in Tripura, Manipur, Assam and Nagaland and we advise against all travel to these areas.

There is a high risk to your security in Bihar and Jharkhand due to violent crime in rural areas and we advise against tourist and non-essential travel to these areas.

There is a high risk to your security in Mumbai and we advise against tourist and non-essential travel due to the continuing high threat from attacks.

On 26 and 27 November 2008 a number of gunfire attacks and explosions occurred in Mumbai resulting in fatalities and injuries. The attacks have targeted various locations, including the railway station, Taj and Oberoi Hotels, and restaurants frequented by tourists. At this point, we advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel to Mumbai. New Zealanders currently in Mumbai should register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade or if already registered, update their details

Elsewhere in India there is some risk to your security due to the threat from terrorism and we advise caution. New Zealanders are advised to maintain a high level of personal security awareness at all times and avoid large public gatherings and demonstrations, especially during religious festivals.

On 27 September 2008, a bomb exploded in South Delhi (near the Jahaj Mahal flower market) killing one child and injuring 18 people. 13 September, a series of bomb blasts in three popular market areas in New Delhi killed 21 people and injured up to 100 others. This is the third time in recent years that New Delhi has been targeted, with several crowded market areas bombed in October 2005.

On 29 July 2008, local authorities in Surat, in the State of Gujarat successfully defused a number of bombs across the city. On 26 July, a series of bombs exploded in Ahmedabad, also in the State of Gujarat, killing at least 40 people and injuring over 100. Local authorities also confirmed that up to five bombs exploded in Bangalore on 25 July, killing one person and injuring six.

On 13 May 2008, a series of bombs exploded in the walled city area of old Jaipur in Rajasthan State killing 60 people and injuring more than 150. The blasts occurred in crowded market areas close to Hindu temples and popular tourist sites. This is the second incident in Rajasthan following the death of three people in a bomb blast at a religious site in Ajmer in October 2007.

A series of bomb blasts struck the train network in Mumbai, one of the busiest in the world, during the evening rush hour on 11 July 2006. There were reports of over 160 people killed and approximately 500 injured by the seven bombs.

New Zealanders travelling in India should take account of the potential for terrorist activity by militant groups. Such attacks may be directed at national institutions within major cities, religious sites, festivals, tourist resorts, hotels, fairs, major sporting events, and public transport. Significant dates (such as religious festivals) could be a particular focus and travellers should avoid national monuments and major tourist sites such as the Red Fort on these days.

Since April 2003 there has been a reduction in tension between India and Pakistan, and some confidence-building measures, including the resumption of some road, rail and air links, have been undertaken. However, there have been an increasing number of border incidents in recent months. The security situation, therefore, remains unpredictable and there continues to be scope for it to deteriorate.

We advise against all travel to Jammu and Kashmir (with the exceptions of Ladakh via Manali or air to Leh), due to ongoing political violence there, and to the immediate vicinity of the India-Pakistan international border and the Line of Control (where a ceasefire is in place but risks, particularly from landmines, remain). We also advise against all travel to the northeastern states of Assam, Nagaland, Tripura and Manipur and the need for additional caution if travelling in Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Mizoram. On 2 October 2008, two people were killed and more than 76 injured when a series of bombs exploded in Agartala, the capital of Tripura. Two further bombs were discovered and defused by the local authorities.

The risk of politically motivated violence elsewhere in India remains. We advise New Zealanders in India to closely monitor developments that might affect their safety. We recommend you avoid all demonstrations, protests and rallies as they could result in violent confrontations. You should follow the instructions of the local authorities at all times. We advise against travelling alone in India and recommend you exercise a high degree of personal security awareness at all times.

New Zealanders resident or travelling in India should have comprehensive medical and travel insurance policies in place that include provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders travelling or resident in India are strongly encouraged to register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade or if already registered, update their details.

See our regional advice for South Asia

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The New Zealand High Commission New Delhi, India

Contact details are

Street Address Sir Edmund Hillary Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110 021, India
Telephone +91 11 2688 3170 Facsimile +91 11 2688 3165
Email nzhc@ndf.vsnl.net.in
Website New Zealand High Commission New Delhi [external link]
Office Hours Mon - Fri 0830 - 1700 hrs

ENDS

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