New Delhi: The Delhi police have arrested Syed Abdul Karim alias ‘Tunda’, a Lashkar-e-Toiba’s commander who masterminded a series of bombing in North India in 1996-98.
According to reports, Tunda was arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police from the Indo-Nepal border last night after he was apparently deported from one of the Gulf countries. The 70-year-old Tunda would be produced before a court later today, official sources said.
The Lashkar-e-Toiba’s ‘bomb expert’ was wanted in more than 40 blast cases in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Rohtak and Jalandhar in the 1990s in which over 20 persons were killed and over 400 injured.
The details about his arrest were sketchy but Tunda, against whom an Interpol Red Corner notice was issued in 1996, was apparently deported from one of the Gulf countries and his arrest was effected at the Indo-Nepal border.
Hailing from Pilkhuwa in Uttar Pradesh, Tunda was one of the 20 terrorists whose extradition India had demanded from Pakistan after the 2001 attack on Parliament House. The list included LeT chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and his Jaish-e-Mohammad counterpart Maulana Azhar Masood Alvi.
Tunda was allegedly indoctrinated by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence in the 1980s. He was given training in making improvised explosive devices.
Tunda later shifted from Pakistan to Bangladesh to explore the possibility of recruiting Rohingya youth for terror.
Before joining the ranks of the terror outfit, he ran a homoeopathic shop in the early 1980s.
The sources say that though he was not directly involved in perpetrating bombings after 1998, he acted as mentor for a younger generation of Lashkar operatives, financing and organising operations across India.
He was known as Tunda (handicapped) after he lost his left hand in a bomb-making accident.
Many stories had been floated earlier about his whereabouts and the hunt for him virtually ended at one point when it was believed that he had been killed in a blast in Bangladesh.