New Delhi: LeT`s top bomb expert Abdul Karim alias Tunda, who was arrested by Delhi police on Friday, had his first brush with explosives at the age of 12 years.
Tunda`s association with bombs can be gauged by the fact that his left hand got severed in an accident while he was preparing a bomb, and this later earned him a feared nickname `Tunda`.
Born in 1943 in Daryaganj area in Delhi, Tunda told his interrogators that at the age of around 10-12 years, a small time vendor used to come in his locality on a bicycle to sell `Churan`.
In order to attract kids, the vendor used to show a magic trick.
"Tunda told us that the vendor would put some `Churan` on a stick followed by a Safedi (some white substance) and as soon as it touched it with a certain liquid, it would catch fire in a flash," said a police official.
This mesmerised everybody, but young Tunda was curious about what was behind this trick.
He later found out that it was `Potash` on which the safedi (sugar) was put and the liquid was some sort of acid. When the three met it led to a flash flame, the official said.
In 1993, Tunda and Ansari had set off a series of explosions in Mumbai and Hyderabad and seven separate bomb blasts on trains. After Ansari`s arrest in January 1994, Tunda fled to Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, police said.
Tunda returned from Dhaka to India to mastermind the deadly 1996-1998 blasts. In almost all the blasts in Delhi during 1996-98, Tunda`s men, who were from Pakistan and Bangladesh, had detonated bombs.
He had carried out 24 explosions in Delhi, 5 in Haryana and 3 explosions in UP on the instructions of Tunda.
The CBI had charged Tunda with organising LeT`s major terror attacks outside of Jammu and Kashmir -- a series of 43 bombings in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Rohtak and Jalandhar in which over 20 persons were killed and over 400 injured.