Holtzberg family suing Pakistan over Mumbai attack

(JTA) — The family of Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg, the Chabad emissaries in Mumbai killed in the 2008 terror attack there, are suing Pakistan’s intelligence agency.

The wrongful death suit filed in a federal court in Brooklyn, N.Y., by Gavriel Holtzberg’s father, Rabbi Nachman Holtzberg of Israel, on behalf of the family also names the Lashkar-E-Taiba terrorist group, the New York Post reported.

The Holtzbergs were killed in the Mumbai Chabad house, known as the Nariman House, along with four visitors in the November 2008 attacks on several sites in the Indian city, including luxury hotels, a train station and a popular cafe. More than 170 people were killed in the attacks. The couple’s then-2-year-old son, Moshe, was saved by his Indian nanny.

The lawsuit claims that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Agency has worked closely with the terrorist group and provided support to the Mumbai terrorists, the Post reported.

Meanwhile, the parents of Gavriel Holtzberg also have asked an Indian court to give the family, and not the Chabad Lubavitch movement, the right to renovate the Nariman House, which was severely damaged in the terrorist attack. Donations to repair and renovate the building have come in from international donors.

The Holtzberg family reportedly began repair work on the building as the international Chabad movement put forward its final plans for the building, Indian media reported.

The building is under a stop-work order and is in the hands of a receiver. Electricity and water to the building have been severed. 

"Chabad remains committed to the reconstruction of Nariman House as a memorial and tribute to those victims who lost their lives there," said Motti Seligson spokesman for the Lubavitch World Headquarters. "We are working with one of India’s most prominent building companies to ensure that the building is safe and will be there for Moshe when he grows up.

"A significant amount of money has been spent on the clean-up and maintenance of Nariman House over the last two years to ensure the building’s safety while working on the painstaking tasks of planning and preparing for the rebuilding."

Nachman Holtzberg and his wife were scheduled to leave from Israel this week to serve as emissaries in Mumbai. Moshe reportedly will continue to live in Israel with his grandparents, the parents of Rivkah Holtzberg, and his nanny.

Rabbi Chanoch and Leiky Gechtman were sent by Lubavitch headquarters in June to run Chabad operations in Mumbai. 

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