In the wake of the Mumbai police receiving a letter that warns of blasts in the city, particularly targeting Jewish synagogues, the city is now on alert and security has been tightened.
The threat letter, written by an outfit that calls itself 'Suicide Mujahideen', reached the Mumbai police on Friday. The group has threatened to carry out blasts at the synagogues in the city.
In the letter, the group had threatened to carry out attacks on 25 July, which was the last Friday of the holy month of Ramzan.
"To avenge the killings of Palestinians in Gaza, we will carry out serial bomb blasts in the city on 25 July. Stop us if you can. Once again, you get a chance like in 1993, but this time you will not get anybody," the letter read, reported The Times of India. It was directed to Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria, who had investigated the 1993 bomb blasts in Mumbai.
The letter raises the question of whether the Jews in India, who number to about 3,000, are at threat over the Gaza conflict and if they will be targeted.
While some community members have become extra cautious following the escalation of violence in Gaza and the corresponding protests against Israel, some feel that Jews in India are safe.
"Our sense of security vanished after the 26/11 attacks on Chabad House, and now we are feeling it even more," Sharona Galsurkar, 34, a Jewish educator who lives in the vicinity of the Magen David Synagogue in Mumbai's Byculla area, told the International Business Times India.
"There have been several anti-Israel protests, and there is definitely a threat that some fanatics would translate their emotions over the issue into actions against the Jewish community living here."
Galsurkar said that she has been extra cautious while moving around, especially after the Israel-Hamas fight escalated in the last few days.
Jonathan Solomon, who heads the Indian Jewish Federation, said the main cause of threat to the community is misinformation about the Israel attacks. "Our main worry is that there has been a lot of misinformation about the conflict, and facts are being distorted. The fight is between Israel and the militant outfit of Hamas and not with the civilians," he explained.
Solomon also added that there is more fear of attacks from "foreign sources" than from within the country. Does he think the community is at threat of another attacks on the lines of the 26/11 attacks?
"These attacks can never be predicted, but it can also never be ruled out. We have had good relations with Indians historically, so our worry is not of attacks from within. We are more concerned about foreign influences," he noted.
However, Rabbi Israel, who heads the Chabad House at Nariman Point that fell under siege of the terrorists in 2008, feels that Indian Jews are not really at threat. "Security has been beefed up across the city, not just at Jewish establishments. The police has always been giving enough security. As Jews we are threat everywhere, but it is not a big concern in India," he said.
While no incident was reported in the city on 25 July and after, the police is on guard.
"We are not taking any chance. All police stations, crime branch units and ancillary branches have been alerted," Maria told Hindustan Times.
While all synagogues in the city have already been given police protection ever since the community's centre Chabad House was attacked by terrorists during the 26/11 terror attacks, security at these Jewish establishments has been beefed up post the letter.
This is not the first threat to the synagogues of Mumbai. Last year as well, following threats by Indian Mujahideen leader Yasin Bhatkal, the religious institutions of the city's Jewish community were put on alert.