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Terror alert: US Consulate, Center closed
November 23, 2004 11:00 IST
Last Updated: November 23, 2004 16:38 IST
The American Center and the consular section of the American consulate in Mumbai were closed Tuesday due to security concerns.
A US embassy official in New Delhi said the decision was taken following intelligence reports about possible terror strikes on American interests in Mumbai and New Delhi.
He did not say whether the information was received in India or in the US.
Mumbai Joint Commissioner of Police (law and order) Ahmed Javed said the city police had not provided the Americans with any information about a terrorist threat to the consular establishments.
However, top police officials visited the consulate to review security arrangements in and around the mission. The dog squad was deployed to search the neighbourhood, and there was major police presence both at the consulate and the American Center.
'Based on information received by the US Government, terrorists may be planning attacks on US interests in India in the near future. Although not specific, the information suggests that an attack could be aimed at US interests in the cities of New Delhi or Mumbai (Bombay),' said a Warden Message posted on the website of the US consulate in Mumbai.
'Facilities associated with the United States or locations where US citizens and other foreigners congregate or visit, including residential areas, business offices, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, hotels and public areas, could be targeted. US citizens are encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security.'
In light of these security concerns, the Consular Section and the Information Resource Center at the American Center in Mumbai will remain closed to the public on Tuesday, November 23, 2004.
The American officer in Delhi said efforts were being made to contact visa applicants and those with appointments for Tuesday for rescheduling. 'Such applicants will not be required to make new appointments and the Consulate will make very effort to see them as soon as resources permit,' the advisory said.
The US embassy in New Delhi and consulates in Chennai and Kolkata were open for business Tuesday.
Vijay Singh contributed to this report