Be careful while visiting Goa, Britain tells its nationals
Britain has warned its nationals that they should be careful while visiting Goa and the four major Indian metropolitan cities, including Delhi and Mumbai, which could be terror attack targets.india Updated: Nov 12, 2009 10:25 IST
Britain has warned its nationals that they should be careful while visiting Goa and the four major Indian metropolitan cities, including Delhi and Mumbai, which could be terror attack targets.
"Future attacks may target public places frequented by Westerners and expatriates, including the major metropolitan centres (Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai) and tourist areas such as Goa," says a travel advisory on the British government's foreign commonwealth office (FCO) website, which was updated on November 11.
The specific warning for British nationals in India, is in addition to a high general threat throughout the country, especially in public places and five-star hotels.
The advisory asks British nationals to exercise caution when frequenting bars and other watering holes in the coastal tourist state, especially when it comes to spiked drinks.
"There have been reports of drinks being spiked and travellers, including British nationals, subsequently being robbed, sexually assaulted or dying," the advisory says, adding that in 2008 alone, 40 British nationals died in Goa. One fourth of these deaths resulted from drug or alcohol abuse.
"You should avoid beaches after dark where there is a risk of being attacked by packs of stray dogs, being robbed or sexually assaulted," the advisory states.
The FCO website claims that the advice is based on information received from Britain's consular sources, intelligence agencies, apart from other local sources.
"All advice is based on objective assessments of the risks to British nationals - your safety is our main concern. We know that our travel advice can have a knock-on effect on travel, trade and political considerations, but we do not let this influence the advice we give," the website says.
The Goa government is sensitive to adverse advice from European countries, especially Britain, whose nationals account for the lion's share of the 400,000 odd foreign tourists who come to Goa each season.
No senior tourism ministry official was available for comment.