Indian court stays deportation of Israeli couple


JERUSALEM — An Indian court has stayed the deportation of an Israeli couple who say they are serving as Chabad emissaries in the city of Kochi.

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday issued a stay of the deportation of Shneor Zalman and Yaffa Shenoi for what police term “suspicious activities.” The couple was ordered deported a week ago for violation of their tourist visas, since they did not indicate that they would be organizing religious activities, the Times of India reported.

The couple will be allowed to present their case to the court on Wednesday, at which time the court will decide whether they should be deported.

They had arrived in Kochi in March 2010, and raised suspicion by paying higher than market rate to rent a house in the city on a block populated with other Jews.

Zalman told The Jerusalem Post last week that the couple was invited to Kochi by the small Jewish community to open a Jewish outreach center.

Police said they were suspicious of what they called late-night meetings in the house, which the couple told Ynet they believe were Shabbat dinners for travelers and members of the local Jewish community.