The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has revised its travel advice for travellers to India, warning of a possible terror being planned for Mumbai
“We continue to receive reports that terrorists are planning attacks in India and assess that attacks could occur anywhere at any time with little or no warning, including in locations frequented by Australians,” DFAT said on its Smart Traveller website. “Information of mid-December 2014 indicates that militants may be planning attacks against upmarket hotels in Mumbai.”
DFAT updated its travel advice but held its travel warning at ‘Exercise a high degree of caution’.
“We continue to advise Australians to exercise a high degree of caution in India overall because of the high threat of terrorist activity, civil unrest and crime and the high rate of vehicle accidents,” the website said.
In mid-December 2014, Indian authorities increased security at Metro stations and other public spaces in New Delhi.
The November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks are still fresh in the mind of many Indians. Militants carried out a series of 12 coordinated bombing attacks over four days in the city, the largest in India. The attacks against luxury hotels, including the Taj Mahal Hotel and Oberoi Trident, were seen as attacks not only against Indians but also westerners. Of the 166 people killed, this included 28 foreign nationals from 10 countries. The attacks were blamed on the banned Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
One of the accused masterminds behind the siege, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, was granted bail on 18 December by anti-terror courts in Pakistan, but this was later recoked.
Another series of bombs in July 2011 in the city killed 21 people and injured more than 120 others.
The current warning for Australians travelling to the north-eastern Indian states (Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Manipur) and Chhattisgarh, as well as for the cities of Jammu and Srinagar is reconsider your need to travel. The Australian government advises citizens not to travel to Jammu and Kashmir or the India-Pakistan border region.