New Delhi, Aug 17: Lashkar-e-Taiba’s Abdul Karim Tunda, one of India’s top 20 most wanted terrorists involved in around 40 bomb blasts and an aide of fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim, was arrested near the India-Nepal border by Delhi Police, an official said here Saturday.
Tunda, 70, was arrested Friday around 3 p.m. in Uttarkhand’s Banbasa area close to the Nepal border and presented in a Delhi court Saturday which sent him to three days’ police custody.
“He was carrying a Pakistani Passport number AC 4413161 issued Jan 23 in the name of Abdul Quddus,” said Special Commissioner of Police S.N. Srivastava.
Tunda is wanted in several criminal cases in the country and is among India’s 20 top most wanted terrorists, police said.
In Delhi, he is wanted in 21 terror cases dating back to 1994, 1996 and 1998.
“Tunda is closely associated with LeT and ISI in Pakistan,” the official said.
His left hand got severed in an accident while he was preparing a bomb in 1985 in Mumbai, after which he got the moniker of Tunda.
An aide of don Dawood Ibrahim, Tunda is an LeT explosive expert and terrorist allegedly involved in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, Delhi bomb blasts of 1997-98 and serial bombings in Uttar Pradesh and also in Haryana and Punjab.
Police said he trained young indoctrinated radicals in preparing bombs with locally available materials like urea, nitric acid, potassium chloride, nitrobenzene and sugar and planting them at crowded places.
Tunda, who was born in 1943 in central Delhi’s Daryaganj area, is also wanted to stand trial in several cases of serial blasts in trains in Hyderabad, Gulbarga, Surat and Lucknow.
He allegedly worked with terror operatives like Hafiz Saeed, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Wadhawa Singh, Ratandeep Singh, Karachi-based Indian Mujahideen absconders Abdul Aziz alias Bada Sajid and others.
Soon after his birth in Delhi, Tunda along with his family had shifted to their native village in Bazaar Khurd area in Pilkhuwa in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad district. Tunda lived here with his wife till 1992.
Tunda worked as a carpenter, scrap dealer and cloth merchant till the age of 40, before becoming a radicalised jehadi militant, police said.
Soon after the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992 in Uttar Pradesh, Tunda floated a radical organisation in Mumbai, police said.
In January 1994, Tunda fled to Bangladesh capital Dhaka where he started training jehadis in bomb making, police said.
Investigators said Tunda also trained terror operatives in making improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Tunda’s two Bangladeshi students, Mato-ur Rehman and Akbar alias Haroon, were arrested from Sadar Bazar railway station in Delhi in February 1998. Police later arrested 24 other members of the module.
For some years, Tunda lay low and investigators thought he had died.
In August 2005, Abdul Razzak Masood, an alleged LeT chief coordinator in Dubai, arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police told investigators that Tunda was alive and he met him in Lahore in December 2003.
In 2008, when India had demanded Pakistani government to turn over 20 most wanted terrorists to demonstrate its seriousness about fighting terrorism after the 26/11 attack on Mumbai, Tunda alias Abdul Quddooss had a prominent place in it.
This list includes people like Hafiz Saeed, Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar, and fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
Tunda had also tried to cause serial explosions in India in 2010, just before the Commonwealth Games.