Notwithstanding tight security, Abdul Karim Tunda, top LeT bomb expert, was today assaulted in the premises of a Delhi court which remanded him to four day police custody to quiz him in connection with 37 bomb blast cases across the country.
Tunda was hit on his back and stomach by alleged 'Hindu Sena' activists whose attempt to slap him was thwarted by the escorting police personnel who later formed a human chain to guard him.
Shiv Kumar Raghav, 40, slapped Tunda at around 3.50 p.m. when the terrorist was being taken to a court after three days of police custody. Along with Raghav, another member of Hindu Sena, Vishnu Gupta, was also detained by police just after the attack."Tunda is a traitor, he should be hanged," Raghav was shouting after he slapped Tunda and was detained by police.
Police personnel have been reinforced outside Patiala House court after the incident.
The 70-year-old terrorist was produced before Metropolitan Magistrate Jay Thareja who extended his custodial interrogation for four days till August 24.
The Delhi Police had sought Tunda's custody for 10 days for taking him to three different places outside the national Capital for probing his links with various terror outfits.
The police said Tunda was declared a proclaimed offender in a case of recovery of explosive substances lodged in 1994 at south Delhi's Malviya Nagar police station under the provisions of stringent anti-terror law TADA.
Immediately after he was produced in the court, Tunda said he did not have money to hire a lawyer but some advocates volunteered to represent him and advocate M S Khan who had the 'vakalatnama' (power of attorney) was allowed to appear for him.
During the proceedings, which were held in-camera, after a lawyer interrupted it, Tunda told the court that he was "innocent" as he had not motivated anyone to kill women and children by exploding bombs.
Advocate Khan told reporters after the proceedings that Tunda claimed in the court that he used to teach others about 'Jehad' its true meaning which bars any kind of violence.
The alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist, suspected to be involved in over 40 bombings in the country, will now be presented in court Aug 24.
Tunda, the one-handed bomb maker arrested by Delhi Police near the India-Nepal border last week, told the judge that he was "innocent" and did not motivate anyone to carry out blasts, said sources.
They said that during the in-chamber hearing, Tunda told the court: "I am innocent, I used to teach Quran and in Jehad killing old people, women and children is not permissible."
Delhi-born Tunda is wanted in several criminal cases in the country and is among India's 20 top most-wanted terrorists.
In Delhi, he is wanted in 21 terror cases related to 1994, 1996 and 1998.
An aide of fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim, the alleged LeT terrorist was also wanted for suspected involvement in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts.
Tunda was arrested Friday in Uttarakhand's Banbasa area close to the Nepal border when he was trying to enter India.
Tunda was involved in the 1993 Mumbai serial bombings that left over 250 dead, Delhi bomb blasts of 1997-98 and serial bombings in Uttar Pradesh and also in Haryana and Punjab, police said.
Police said he trained young radicals in preparing bombs with locally available materials like urea, nitric acid, potassium chloride, nitrobenzene and sugar and planting them at crowded places.