In a dramatic late night operation on Friday, the Delhi police has arrested Abdul Karim Tunda Alias Abdul Quddoos, a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) explosive expert wanted in connection with the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai as well as for his role in the 2006 blasts in the city’s local trains. Tunda was picked up from a house near the Indo Nepal border, SN Shrivastav, special commissioner of police, told Sunday MiD DAY over telephone.
Tunda, who has just turned 70, was wanted for his role in the 1993 serial blasts, the 2006 local train blasts and 26/11 Mumbai terror attack. His name figures in the Indian government’s list of 20 most wanted terrorists and Shrivastav said is it believed that he was behind at least 40 bomb blasts in India over the years.
Speaking to SMD, the special commissioner of police confirmed the arrest. “He is mastermind of 1997-98 Delhi bomb blasts apart from the Mumbai blasts and similar blasts in Uttar Pradesh, Gulbarga, Sonepat and Hyderabad,” he said.
Tunda is allegedly very close to the Pakistani intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). He reportedly told the cops he lived near Jama’at-ud-Da’wah chief, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed’s house in Pakistan. Before any blast, he would meet with LeT commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and LeT operative Azam Cheema, he is believed to have told the Delhi cops.
Police also claimed he was in touch with Amir Raza Khan, the Chief of Indian Mujahiddin (IM). “Tunda was like a CEO for India in LeT camp,” said an officer from Delhi. A native of Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, Tunda worked as a carpenter, scrap dealer and cloth merchant before joining the LeT. Very soon he became an expert bomb-maker. He also trained youngsters in bomb making. Tunda was produced in court yesterday and remanded to three days judicial custody.