The Delhi Police on Saturday announced the arrest of top Lashkar-e-Taiba operative Syed Abdul Karim alias Tunda, an expert bombmaker and terror scout and the man behind more than 40 acts of terrorism across the country since the 1990s.
Syed Abdul Karim alias Tunda in the custody of Delhi Police special cell. Tunda was arrested from near Nepal border. (Ajay Aggarwal/HT Photo)
The 70-year-old who lost his left hand in a bomb-making accident, earning him the nickname ‘Tunda’ — is among the top 20 terrorists wanted by India. Now mostly retired from making bombs, he had moved on to imparting motivational and technical training to terrorist cadre and managing an international fake currency racket.
Born in Delhi, Tunda moved to Mumbai. He had been “operating out of Pakistan” for long, special commissioner of police (special cell) SN Shrivastava said.
He had a Pakistani passport in the name of Abdul Quddus when the police picked him up in the Banwasa-Mehendarnagar area bordering Nepal at 3pm Friday.
According to the special cell and central intelligence agencies, Tunda is close to Lashkar founder Hafiz Saeed and the ISI top rung. The Delhi Police claimed he also had links with Dawood Ibrahim and 26/11 key accused Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.
“It can’t be said that Abdul Karim Tunda is the only aide of Dawood Ibrahim. Dawood has many aides in different areas of his work. But Tunda is definitely an important man in this syndicate,” Mumbai Police chief Satyapal Singh said.
Tunda arrest: 20-year trail led to prized catch
Tunda has reportedly told interrogators that he worked for the Lashkar from 1994 to 2003, leaving after a fallout with Lakhvi over funds. He has also revealed that the outfit is flush with cash from the Pakistani government, diaspora and the Gulf.
Tunda also ran Lashkar’s fake currency racket | Tunda: Pak diaspora funds LeT | | High connections
“Tunda and an associate, Jalees Ansari, set off a series of explosions in Mumbai and Hyderabad and seven separate blasts on trains in 1993. After Jalees’ arrest in January 1994, Tunda fled to Dhaka, Bangladesh,” said Shrivastava.
He was back two years later with a group of men from Pakistan and Bangladesh who set off several bombs with pencil batteries in Delhi in 1996-1998.
He has reportedly confessed to his involvement in a bus bombing in Punjabi Bagh in 1997 that left four dead, and to an earlier blast in Malviya Nagar in 1994.
“Of late, he planned serial blasts just before the Commonwealth Games in 2010, using an elaborate work of currency and human traffickers active in Bangladesh,” Shrivastava said. That plan failed with the arrest of his associates. He last visited the Capital in June, sources said.
Tunda, also known as Hakimji, has 51 cases against him across the country. Top government sources said he was in Nepal to secure funds for his madrasa in Karachi.
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