India has ‘extremist elements’, US warns in travel advisory

Brides in traditional costumes walk in a procession during a mass community wedding in Bahirkhanda village, about 70 kilometers (44 miles) north of Kolkata, India, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. One hundred and eight couple got married in the ceremony that was sponsored by a voluntary organization. Mass weddings in India are organized by social organizations primarily to help the economically backward families who cannot afford the high ceremony costs as well as the customary dowry and expensive gifts that are still prevalent in many communities. (AP Photo/ Bikas Das)

NEW YORK: India’s tourism is set to take a hit this summer, especially by travelers from the United States, as the US has mentioned that the country has ‘active extremist elements’, while issuing a travel advisory. It has also cautioned citizens against traveling to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

“The US government assesses terrorist groups in South Asia may be planning attacks in the region, possibly against US facilities, citizens and interests. US citizens should avoid travel to Afghanistan, as no region in the country is immune from violence,” the State Department said in its worldwide caution.

“A number of established terrorist organizations, indigenous sectarian groups, and other militants pose a danger to US citizens in Pakistan. Extremist elements are also active in India, as outlined in a recent emergency message. Terrorists have hit a wide variety of targets and institutions in Bangladesh,” it added.

The US has emerged as the largest inbound source market for India contributing 15.12% of the total tourist arrivals, according to ‘India Tourism Statistics for 2015’, the latest data available.

In 2015, a total of 1,213,624 tourists from the US traveled to India. It was followed by Bangladesh, with 1,133,879 tourists, while visitors from the UK took the third spot with 867,601 arrivals.



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