70-year-old Tunda, an expert bomb maker of terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba, was arrested yesterday at around 3 PM from the Banwasa-Mehendarnagar border with Nepal, and brought to Delhi. Tunda was one of 20 terrorists India had demanded the Pakistani government to hand over after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack. This list includes Laskhar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed, Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar and Dawood Ibrahim, amongst others.
Police said Tunda was wanted in 21 cases in Delhi alone that were committed in 1994 and in 1996-1998. They said Tunda had trained young indoctrinated youths in preparing bombs with locally available materials like urea, nitric acid, potassium chloride, nitrobenzene and sugar, and planting them at crowded places to cause maximum casualties.
He was carrying a Pakistani Passport No AC 4413161 issued on 23 January, 2013 in the name of Abdul Quddus, Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) S N Shrivastava said addressing a press conference. Abdul Karim Tunda worked as a carpenter, scarp dealer and cloth merchant till he attained the age of 40 years before becoming a radicalised jehadi militant. His younger brother Abdul Malik (a carpenter) is reportedly the only immediate family member alive in India.
There were conflicting reports over the circumstances in which Tunda was arrested, with one police source claiming that he was deported from a Gulf country. Another source said that Tunda left Karachi around ten days ago and reached Kathmandu via Dubai.
Intelligence agencies were tracking him from Dubai and gave a tip-off to the Special Cell of Delhi Police, which finally nabbed him yesterday from the Indo-Nepal border. Tunda was produced before a duty magistrate early in the morning here today. The court sent him to three day's police custody.
"Abdul Karim Tunda is a well known LeT explosive expert/terrorist wanted for his role in 1993 Mumbai serial train blasts, Delhi bomb blasts of 1997-98 and serial bombings in the state of Uttar Pradesh and also at Panipat, Sonepat, Ludhiana, Hyderabad etc," said Shrivastava.
Tunda is reportedly also wanted in several cases of serial blasts in trains in Hyderabad, Gulbarga, Surat and Lucknow on December 5 and 6, 1993, he said. Shrivastava said that Pakistan trained Laskar-e-Toiba terrorists, belonging to Pakistan and Bangladesh, had carried out 24 explosions in Delhi, 5 in Haryana and 3 explosions in Uttar Pradesh on the instructions of Tunda.
"Tunda had planned to carry out bombings in and around Delhi in 2010 at the time of the Commonwealth Games, but the plan was timely thwarted with the arrest of his accomplices who were supposed to carry out the attack," said Shrivastava.
The CBI had charged Karim with organising LeT's major terror attacks outside of Jammu and Kashmir -- a series of 43 bombings in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Rohtak and Jalandhar in which over 20 persons were killed and over 400 injured