Abdul Karim Tunda alias Abdul Quddooss, one of India's top 20 wanted terrorists, at Delhi Police special cell, in New Delhi.
Abdul Karim Tunda, a close aide of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and one of India's most wanted terrorists who was a bomb-maker for LeT, has been arrested after being on the run in several countries for 19 years.
Also known to be close to 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed, 70-year-old Tunda, who was holding a Pakistani passport with the name Abdul Quddus, was arrested yesterday at around 3 PM from the Banwasa-Mehendarnagar area on the Indo-Nepal border and brought to Delhi.
Tunda is one of the 20 terrorists India had asked the Pakistan government to hand over after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack and is suspected to be involved in 40 bombings in the country. He is the first in the list to be arrested.
India's list of wanted terrorists and criminals given to Pakistan includes Saeed, Laskhar-e-Taiba chief, Jaish-e- Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar and Dawood, among others.
Police said Tunda was wanted in 21 cases in Delhi alone that were committed in 1994 and in 1996-1998.
Addressing a press conference here, Special Commissioner of Delhi Police (Special Cell) S N Shrivastava said Tunda was carrying a Pakistani Passport No AC 4413161 issued on 23 January, 2013 in the name of Abdul Quddus.
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 said.
Before becoming a militant, Tunda had worked as a carpenter, scrap dealer and cloth merchant. 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 today before a duty magistrate who remanded him to three day's police custody.
He 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 UP and also at Panipat, Sonepat, Ludhiana, Hyderabad etc, said Shrivastava.
Bomb blasts were planned by Tunda in and around Delhi during the 2010 Commonwealth Games but they were thwarted with the arest of his accomplices, he said.
His left hand got severed in an accident while he was preparing a bomb and this later earned him the feared nickname 'Tunda', said Joint Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) MM Oberoi.
He was born in 1943 in Darya Ganj area of Old Delhi. His father was a metal worker engaged in melting and moulding of copper, zinc and aluminium, police said.
Tunda is wanted in several cases of serial blasts in trains in Hyderabad, Gulbarga, Surat and Lucknow on December 5 and 6, 1993.
Shrivastava said LeT terrorists, hailing from Pakistan and Bangladesh, had carried out 24 explosions in Delhi, 5 in Haryana and 3 explosions in UP on the instructions of Tunda.
The CBI had charged Tunda 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.
"Tunda is known to and worked with Hafiz Saeed, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Wadhawa Singh, Ratandeep Singh, Karachi based IM absconders, Abdul Aziz alias Bada Sajid and others. He is well known to Dawood Ibrahim," said Oberoi.
Security agencies hope to get some inputs on Let operations in India from Tunda against who an Interpol Red Corner notince was issued ion 1996.
The first breakthrough on Tunda came with the arrest in February, 1998 of Tunda's two Bangladeshi 'students', Mato-ur Rehman and Akbar alias Haroon, from Sadar Bazar railway station, New Delhi, police said.
Delhi Police later arrested 24 other members of the module, including Tunda's confidants, Kamran and Shakeel. There was temporary slowdown in the hunt for Tunda following reports that he was killed in a blast in Bangladesh. In 2000. The probe resumed after this turned out to be wrong.
Meanwhile, the Home Ministry has complimented the Delhi Police and central intelligence agencies for arresting Abdul Karim Tunda.
"Great work by Delhi police and central intelligence agencies for the coordinated effort in arresting Tunda, one of India's most wanted terrorists," Minister of State for Home R P N Singh posted on microblogging site Twitter.
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