A weak bladder, frequent medicine breaks and aching joints have made 70-year-old Syed Abdul Karim alias Tunda a difficult interrogation subject for the police forces of several states, intelligence sources said.
Already deemed a tough nut to crack given his 'history', the terror suspect is highly diabetic and is proving to be 'a real test of patience' for most officials interrogating him.
"Given his experience as a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative for all these decades and what seems to be an inherent skill at twisting and turning facts, visible health problems are the last thing we needed," said an official from the Intelligence Bureau (IB).
"The time of interrogation depends on his daily medical check-up and the dosage of pills. Sometimes his legs ache, sometimes he feels drowsy due to the medication. It gets unmanageable at times," the official added.
What was also not helping the entire questioning process, sources admitted, is interrogation 'by a new face almost on a daily basis'.
The reason for this, special cell sources said, was the presence of one state police representative after another to seek access to him and hence not quite allowing him to enter the 'comfort zone' that, 'at his age', should have been reached a long time ago.
"Yesterday, we had the Punjab Police question him. The Anti-Terror Squads (ATS) of Jaipur and Madhya Pradesh had questioned him before that," said a special cell officer.
"With a new person questioning him every day and no contact between the different interrogators, Tunda refuses to confirm what he had admitted a day earlier. It resembles a circus sometimes," the officer added.