2 May 2010

Indian community worried about homeland threat

1:28 pm on 2 May 2010

The head of the Wellington Indian Association says he and his fellow countrymen are worried about the increased threats of terror attacks in their homeland.

New Zealand has followed Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States in warning travellers to stay away from marketplaces in the capital, New Delhi.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade says there are increased indications and heightened concerns that terrorists are planning attacks in New Delhi.

MFAT says large public gatherings and demonstrations, as well as markets, should be avoided.

Association president Prakash Soma says the threats are disturbing, in what should be a year of celebration.

India is due to host the Commonwealth Games in October.

The warning by MFAT was issued on Saturday night, a day after an under-16 cricket team from Wellington arrived in India for a 17-day tour.

The trip had been in question after two bombs exploded on 17 April in Bangalore before an Indian Premier League cricket match, but went ahead after a security assessment.

A parent told Radio New Zealand on Sunday the team has arrived in Hyderabad safely and was following security advice.

A spokesperson for the Indian High Commission in Wellington says it's unable to comment.

MFAT says 340 New Zealanders are registered with consular services in India and about 60 of them are in Delhi.

But there are likely to be many others and they should register to ensure they get up to date information.

Thai alert also

A travel alert also remains in place for Thailand due to political uncertainty, civil unrest and threat from terror attacks.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade advises against all tourist and non-essential travel while large anti-government protests in Bangkok continue.

The situation is described as volatile and tense. Further violent clashes between protestors and security forces are seen as likely, as are clashes between rival groups of protestors.