Arrested Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative Syed Abdul Karim alias Tunda had packed off his wife and mother-in-law to Pakistan on the suggestion of Dawood Ibrahim after the December 1999 plane hijacking.
“Tunda kept his wife in Bangladesh primarily but when the Kandahar incident (hijacking) took place, Dawood Ibrahim and the Pakistan army asked him to send his wife to Pakistan as they did not think Bangladesh was a safe zone. Since Tunda was well-connected with the Pakistan army as well as Dawood, he sent his wife to Pakistan,” said a senior officer working with the state intelligence branch (IB).
“Tunda is a big catch and we will certainly go to interrogate him,” the officer said.
Tunda worked with his father-in-law, Abu Taher, jailed in Kolkata since his 2009 arrest. According to a state task force (Kolkata police) officer, when the preparation for the hijacking was on, Tunda and Taher sheltered some of the hijackers.
Tunda, in accordance with the instruction of Ibrahim and the Pakistan army, used to send activists of the LeT and Jaish-e-Mohammed, another terror outfit, from Pakistan to India through Bangladesh. His father-in-law would make arrangements for them to go to Kashmir and join militant outfits. Ibrahim paid for this.
“After the Kandahar incident took place, security in Kashmir was tightened. So Pakistan decided not to send terrorists directly to Kashmir and started using the porous India-Bangladesh border. However, the Bangladesh government too tightened security after pressure from India post Kandahar,” the IB officer said.