1996 Sonepat blasts: LeT bomb expert Abdul Karim Tunda gets life term
Tunda’s involvement is suspected to be in at least 40 bomb blast cases across the country, including the 1993 Mumbai train blasts.india Updated: Oct 10, 2017 22:31 IST
A Sonepat court on Tuesday awarded life imprisonment to Lashkar-e-Taiba bomb maker Syed Abdul Karim alias Tunda for his role in 1996 Sonepat blasts.
The court of additional sessions judge Sushil Garg also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh (Rs 50,000 each for conviction in two sections) on him.
Tunda has been held guilty under sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and section 3 (causing explosion likely to endanger life or property) of the Explosive Substances Act.
On December 28, 1996, Sonepat was rocked by two blasts at the bus stand and a local sweets shop — both crowded areas — within a span of 10 minutes. The blasts had left 12 people injured.
The police had registered a case against three persons — Shakeel Ahmad, Mohammad Amir Khan and Tunda. Ahmad and Khan were arrested by the police in 1998 while Tunda remained at large. In 2002, a Sonepat court had acquitted the arrested duo for want of evidence.
Tunda was later arrested by Delhi Police in August 2013 from the Indo-Nepal border in Uttarakhand.
While recording his statement in court in September this year, Tunda had maintained that he was in Pakistan at the time of the bomb blasts. He was also on the list of “most-wanted terrorists” that India had given to Pakistan after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
Tunda’s involvement is suspected to be in at least 40 bomb blast cases across the country, including the 1993 Mumbai train blasts.
Originally from Uttar Pradesh, he is accused of teaching bomb-making to jihadists in Bangladesh and Pakistan. Some reports said he was planning to train Rohingyas from Myanmar to target the Buddhists there.
The prosecution lawyer said 43 witnesses, including those who were injured in the blasts, recorded their testimony in the court during the trial.
Brought by the Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh) police here, Tunda has been kept in the Sonepat jail, the police said.
The blast victims welcomed the court order.