Indian plans to deport a Chabad couple for “suspicious activities” after officials tracked them for a year.
Chabad emissaries throughout the world are known to work solely for the benefit of local Jews and Jewish tourists and have not been involved in the past with any illegal activities, and Chabad denies the allegations.
The Times of India reported that Rabbi Zalman Shneor and his wife Yaffa Shenoi arrived in Kochi in March 2010 and rented a house for “far higher than the market rate."
It quoted an intelligence official as saying, "We have traced the couple's financial transactions. Preliminary investigations suggest similar Israelis are camping in various parts of the country."
Rabbi Shneor told the Chabad website Tuesday, “I have no idea how the Indian intelligence officials reached their conclusions. Maybe there has been a mistake because it is clear that that the allegations are baseless.
“I was invited here by the Jewish community and my sole duty is to work with it night and day.”
He estimated the source for the allegations may be libelous statements from a local non-Jewish neighbor who simply is jealous of the community, which has been successful in opening up a large synagogue and expanding Jewish activities in the area.
Rabbi Shneor suggested that non-Jews may have asked themselves, “Where is the money coming from?” and drew the wrong conclusions from late-night meetings and functions on the Sabbath.
The intelligence report noted that “a group of people turned up at the couple's rented house regularly and held meetings,” but such activity is not only common at Chabad centers around the world... it is one of the purposes for which it operates. That is -- providing a meeting place for Jews.
The report added: "These meetings lasted for hours in the night. They were under close surveillance.”
The newspaper said the couple had been tracked for a year, and strangely noted, without making any connection to the rabbi, "Central intelligence got an alert about a covert operation being carried out by suspected Israeli agents after the 26/11 terror attacks in which south Mumbai's Chabad House came under attack and six Jews, including a Rabbi and his pregnant wife, were killed. A communication was sent to all states and it was our wing in Kerala that traced this couple at Fort Kochi.”
Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka were murdered along with four other Jews at the Chabad House in Mumbai in the mega-terror attacks on Mumbai hotels three years ago.