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Top terrorist Tunda arrested
Dawood aide caught near Nepal border; Involved in Mumbai, Delhi blasts
Shaurya Karanbir Gurung
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 17
One of India’s most wanted terrorists and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s close associate Abdul Karim Tunda has been arrested after being on the run for 19 years.

The Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) bomb expert had allegedly been coordinating terror strikes in India from Pakistan. He was wanted in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts and the 1997-1998 Delhi blasts.

The 70-year-old terrorist was arrested by the Delhi Police in the Banwasa-Mehendarnagar area near the Indo-Nepal border around 3 pm on Friday. He was brought to Delhi where a local court remanded him in three-day police custody.

Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) SN Srivastava said Tunda was allegedly carrying a Pakistani passport issued on January 23 under the name of Abdul Quddus.

Srivastava said Tunda was on the list of 20 most wanted terrorists that India had handed over to Pakistan after the 26/11 attacks. LeT chief Hafiz Saeed, Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar and Dawood were among others on the list.

“Tunda worked with Hafiz Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi (a top LeT terrorist), Wadhawa Singh (head of terror outfit Babbar Khalsa International) and Abdul Aziz, alias Bada Sajid (Karachi-based Indian Mujahideen absconder). He is close to Dawood,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Sanjeev Kumar Yadav.

Yadav said Tunda trained “indoctrinated” youths to make bombs with locally available material such as urea, nitric acid and potassium chloride.

“He also stayed in Pakistan where he imparted training in making improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to ‘jehadis’, who were later sent to India from Pakistan for terror strikes,” he said.

Tunda was born in 1943 at Daryaganj in Delhi and worked as a carpenter, scrap dealer and cloth merchant until the age of 40. Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) initiated Tunda into terrorism in the early 1980s. Tunda was involved in the Mumbai communal riots of 1985, said Srivastava. “His left hand was severed when he was preparing a bomb.

The accident earned him the sobriquet ‘Tunda’ (handicapped),” said Srivastava. In Mumbai, Tunda met Dr Jalees Ansari and constituted “Tanzeem Islah-ul-Muslimeen”. The two later allegedly set off a series of explosions in Mumbai and Hyderabad. After Ansari’s arrest in January 1994, Tunda fled to Dhaka in Bangladesh.

There he allegedly trained terrorists in making bombs. He returned to India and masterminded the 1997-1998 Delhi serial blasts. “On Tunda’s instructions, Pakistan-trained LeT terrorists, belonging to Pakistan and Bangladesh, carried out 24 explosions in Delhi,” said Srivastava. Tunda allegedly masterminded bomb blasts in Panipat, Sonepat, Ludhiana, Kanpur and Varanasi between December 1996 and January 1998. He is wanted in 21 cases of terrorism in Delhi committed between 1994 and 1998. In 1998, Tunda fled to Pakistan via Bangladesh. Delhi Police arrested 24 alleged terrorists, including Tunda’s two confidants. “Tunda had tried to trigger serial bomb blasts in India just ahead of the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in 2010. But the plan could not go through as some of his men were arrested,” the officer said. (With agency inputs)

On top 20 terror list

Tunda’s name figures on the list of India’s 20 most wanted terrorists given to Pakistan after the 26/11 attacks. LeT chief Hafiz Saeed, Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar and Dawood were also on the list

Had Pak passport

Tunda was carrying a Pakistani passport (AC 4413161) issued on January 23, 2013 in the name of Abdul Quddus

Terror trail

  • 1985: Tunda’s hand suspected in riots in Bhiwandi, Mumbai
  • 1993: Tunda and aide Jalees Ansari trigger series of explosions in Mumbai; carry out seven blasts in trains in Hyderabad, Gulbarga, Surat and Lucknow
  • 1994: Jalees is arrested; Tunda flees to Dhaka where he gives bomb-making training to recruits
  • 1996-1998: Returns and masterminds deadly blasts in Delhi, Panipat, Sonepat, Ludhiana, Kanpur and Varanasi
  • 2000: His trail goes cold as reports emerge that he has died in a blast in Bangladesh.





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