Zee Media Bureau/Kamna Arora
New Delhi: In a major catch, the Delhi police on Friday night arrested Syed Abdul Karim alias `Tunda`, a Lashkar-e-Toiba’s commander who masterminded a series of bombing in North India in 1996-98, from Indo-Nepal border.
Addressing the media after getting Tunda`s three-day custody from a court, special commissioner of Delhi Police Special Cell, SN Srivastava, informed that the 70-year-old LeT terrorist had planned to carry out a blast in Delhi ahead of Commonwealth Games in 2010. He could not succeed in his nefarious designs though, as his aides were arrested.
Tunda, an aide of fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim, is involved in around 40 bomb blast cases in Mumbai, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Hyderabad and Surat, added Srivastava. Tunda, who is wanted in 21 cases in Delhi alone, has been closely associated with Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, who is wanted in India for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, a top LeT commander and another accused in the 26/11 attacks, Adam Cheema, wanted in connection with the Mumbai blasts, Wadhawa Singh Babbar, who leads the Babbar Khalsa International, Ratandeep Singh, Karachi-based Indian Mujahideen absconders Abdul Aziz alias Bada Sajid and others, told the police.
The Special Cell of Delhi Police arrested Tunda on August 16 at around 3 pm in Uttarakhand`s Banbasa area close to the Nepal border on the basis of an information received by central intelligence agencies, said Srivastava, adding a Pakistani passport issued on January 23, 2013 was found in the possession of the man, who is one of the India`s most wanted.
Born in Chatta Lal Mian area behind Delite Cinema in central Delhi`s Daryaganj area in 1943, Tunda`s family later shifted to Pilkhuwa (Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh).
Tunda, whose father worked as a metal worker, later worked as a carpenter, scrap dealer and merchant. Tunda lived in Pilkhuwa with his wife till 1992. He became a jihadi when he was 40-year-old. Tunda was allegedly indoctrinated by Pakistan`s Inter-Services Intelligence in the 1980s. He had a role in ghastly communal riots in Bhiwandi (Maharashtra) in 1985.
Soon after the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992 in Uttar Pradesh, Tunda floated a radical organisation in Mumbai, police said.
An accused in 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, and 1997 and 1998 Delhi blasts besides others, Tunda escaped to Pakistan in 1998 to act as mentor for a younger generation of Lashkar operatives, financing and organising operations across India.
His basic role is to teach indoctrinated youth to make improvised explosive device. He aims at carrying out blasts at crowded place and inflict maximum casualties.
He was arrested in January 1994. But he escaped to Dhaka, Bangladesh and taught making bombs to jihadi elements. He further travelled to Pakistan to train youth in LeT-organised camps. In 1996, he returned to Dhaka and then to India. In 1997, he was involved in a bomb blast that took place at Rampura bus stop near Punjabi Bagh in west Delhi in a Blueline bus plying between Ajmeri Gate and Nangloi. At least two people were killed and 22 were injured in the incident.
In 2008, when India had demanded Pakistani government to turn over 20 most wanted terrorists to demonstrate its seriousness about fighting terrorism after the 26/11 attack on Mumbai, Tunda alias Abdul Quddooss had a prominent place in it.
Joint CP Special Cell, MM Oberoi, said in 2000, a report had claimed that Tunda had been killed in a blast in Bangladesh. However, in August 2005, during an interrogation of Abdul Razzak Masood, an alleged LeT chief coordinator in Dubai, told investigators that Tunda was alive and he met him in Lahore in December 2003.
His brother, Abdul Malik, is the only relative left in India.
He was known as Tunda (handicapped) after he lost his left hand in a bomb-making accident.