Terrorists planning to attack Delhi markets ?
Wednesday’s terror warning from the US embassy in New Delhi alerting American citizens in India to keep-off certain places -- mostly the bustling market areas -- was subsequently echoed by both the High Commissions of Canada and Australia.
The alarm bells warning "there are increased indications that terrorists are planning attacks in New Delhi" and the naming of specific places where the US intelligence believed the attack could come gave the warning a sense of urgency and purpose.
The specific areas in Delhi that the warning cited were Chandni Chowk, Connaught Place, Greater Kailash, Karol Bagh, Mehrauli, and Sarojini Nagar" - are all typical high potential soft targets.
Except Mehrauli, these markets are all in the major commercial districts of the national capital which typically means that are densely crowded and frequented by foreigners, including Americans.
The fact that they are all high profile targets due to the unimaginable casualties they would inflict, if a terrorist were to get under the radar of the Indian law enforcement, is almost unimaginable.
The markets are:
Chandni Chowk: The Gateway to the old city, next to the Jama Masjid, is one of the oldest and busiest markets in Delhi. Crowded beyond belief.
Connaught Place (CP): The most central s of the many central business districts of New Delhi. One of the largest financial, commercial and business centers in Delhi.
Greater Kailash (GK): The relatively posh great upper- middle class suburb of South Delhi. , consisting of several residential colonies interspersed by multiple markets. The abode and the hang-out of Delhi's neuve-riche. Crowded with pubs, bars, restaurants and big retail brands.
Karol Bagh: A mixed residential/commercial area in West Delhi. The erstwhile middle- class shopping hub, now overshadowed by the malls in other suburbs. But still crowded, bustling with a thriving auto, electronic market.
Mehrauli: In the south of the city. The home of the Qutub Minar and other medieval monuments. An area of boutique shops and roadside retail. Bustling with tourists and vendors.
Sarojini Nagar: Populated by government employees. The crowded local market which was established to serivce the surrounding government employees, has now transformed itself into a hub for unbranded retail products. Frequented by diplomatic and embassy staff from the nearby Chanakyapuri area, the main diplomatic enclave of the capital.
The warnings come as thousands of athletes and tourists prepare to travel to New Delhi for the high profile Commonwealth Games and only days after bomb blasts rocked Bangalore ahead of the Indian Premier League semifinals.
Two blasts outside Chinnaswamy Stadium, where the Bangalore Royal Challengers and the Mumbai Indians played on Saturday, injured 14 people.
Australia, however, has not upgraded the overall level of advice on India, continuing to urge travellers to exercise a high degree of caution while in the country.