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India Public Announcement

Issued by US Department of State

Mar 15, 2002

This Public Announcement is being issued to inform American citizens of the potential for continued violence in the state of Gujarat and the deferral of nonessential U.S. Government-sponsored travel there, except to the region of Kutch. In addition, the risk of violence in Ayodhya and the surrounding areas remains high. This Announcement supersedes the Public Announcement for India dated February 28, 2002, and expires on April 11, 2002.

The western state of Gujarat has been the scene of violent communal clashes. While the situation has calmed considerably, reports of scattered unrest continue. The potential exists for renewed violence similar to the mob attack on a train in the eastern Gujarat city of Godhra on February 27, and the incidents that occurred in the days following that attack. Army troops remain deployed in major cities and in other parts of Gujarat. Nonessential U.S. Government-sponsored travel to Gujarat, except to the region of Kutch, is being postponed. Private American citizens should also defer travel to the area. U.S. citizens who decide to travel to Gujarat should register with the U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai and request an update on the situation.

Tensions also remain high in the area of Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, where activists have been demanding that the government allow construction of a temple to begin. Although construction has been postponed, the potential for unrest continues. Due to the high risk of violence, U.S. citizens are strongly urged to avoid travel to Ayodhya or the surrounding areas.

Strikes are common occurrences in India and also have the potential to turn violent. Americans throughout India should limit their movements during strikes and should avoid demonstrations and exercise caution in public areas. In the past, strikes have disrupted public services, including public transportation and taxis, particularly in large cities. Spontaneous demonstrations may also occur.

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