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Patiala House Court | New Delhi | HE Bureau & Agencies | 20 Aug 2013:: It’s a good news that one of our fearless friend of Hindu Sena, Shankar Tandav took heavy on Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander Syed Abdul Karim alias `Tunda` before police chanced to proceed a third degree on the arrested Pak operator. The whole Pak world witnessed that how a devout Islamist was assaulted by a single Hindu hard core activist cracking all shields of Allah and Mohammad in a moment. Notwithstanding tight security, Abdul Karim Tunda, top LeT bomb expert, was on Tuesday assaulted in the premises of a Delhi court which remanded him to four day police custody to quiz him in connection with 37 bomb blast cases across the country.
Tunda was kicked on his back, punched on stomach by one ‘Hindu Sena’ activists whose attempt to slap him second time was thwarted by the escorting police personnel who later formed a human chain to guard him. Before that, a bewildering Tunda had to experience an lightening slap on his right chick. The Hindu Sena activist also tried to pull down Tunda by dragging his red beard.
The 70-year-old terrorist was produced before Metropolitan Magistrate Jay Thareja who extended his custodial interrogation for four days till August 24.
The Delhi Police had sought Tunda’s custody for 10 days for taking him to three different places outside the national Capital for probing his links with various terror outfits.
The police said Tunda was declared a proclaimed offender in a case of recovery of explosive substances lodged in 1994 at south Delhi’s Malviya Nagar police station under the provisions of stringent anti-terror law TADA.
Immediately after he was produced in the court, Tunda said he did not have money to hire a lawyer but some advocates volunteered to represent him and advocate M S Khan who had the ‘vakalatnama’ (power of attorney) was allowed to appear for him.
During the proceedings, which were held in-camera, after a lawyer interrupted it, Tunda told the court that he was “innocent” as he had not motivated anyone to kill women and children by exploding bombs.
Advocate Khan told reporters after the proceedings that Tunda claimed in the court that he used to teach others about ‘Jihad’ its true meaning which bars any kind of violence.
Tunda was produced in the court after expiry of three days of police custody.
Tunda, an alleged close aide of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, was arrested from the Indo-Nepal border on August 17 after being on the run in several countries for 19 years.
He lost his left hand in a bomb making session and that’s why he is publicly known as ‘Tunda’, the ‘lost hand’.
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.
According to Delhi Police, he is a well known LeT explosive expert 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 and Hyderabad.
Tunda, believed to be a close aide of fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim, is said to be involved in around 40 bomb blast cases in Mumbai, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Hyderabad and Surat.
Tunda, who is wanted in 21 cases in Delhi alone, has been closely associated with Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, who is wanted in India for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, a top LeT commander and another accused in the 26/11 attacks, Adam Cheema, wanted in connection with the Mumbai blasts, Wadhawa Singh Babbar, who leads the Babbar Khalsa International, Ratandeep Singh, Karachi-based Indian Mujahideen absconders Abdul Aziz alias Bada Sajid and others according to the Special Cell of Delhi Police.
‘Tunda’ yesterday admitted that he had links with former ISI chief Hamid Gul.
Tunda told interrogators that he met Gul in 1995 and was in constant touch with him since then. Delhi Police officials said that he had met Gul after reaching Pakistan via Saudi Arabia.
However, Gul denied any links with the Lashkar bomb-maker. Refuting Tunda’s claims, Gul said that he is ready to face any investigation and if it is true what Tunda is saying then evidence should be sent to Pakistan.
He told the investigators yesterday that underworld don Dawood Ibrahim stayed in a safe house in Karachi and was guarded by Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI.
During his stay in Pakistan, 70-year-old Tunda, a bomb maker for LeT, told the police he had been in touch with people like Hafiz Saeed, Maulana Masood Azhar, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Dawood Ibrahim and several others wanted by India.
Even though Abdul Karim Tunda is more notorious for his bomb-making skills, Delhi Police sources say Tunda was now actively involved in recruiting and training of Jihadis, providing explosives and printing fake currency. During his interrogation, he admitted to running Madrasas across Pakistan called ‘Mehdoot Talim Islami Darool Fanoon’ – which receive donations from individuals and various terror groups and in turn provide young jihadis. He is also understood to be a motivational speaker and through his excellent network of operatives in Bangladesh was pushing material and men into India.
But before he took to terror, Tunda began his career as a carpenter. He soon switched jobs and started assisting his father in melting metals like copper, zinc and aluminium to earn a livelihood. After his father’s death, Tunda, now the lone bread earner of his family, took up scrap dealing. Failing to make significant money, he switched careers to become a cloth merchant. It is also believed that Abdul Karim was engaged in a Delhi Bank as an sub-staff for sometime.
He is believed to have turned a radical after one of his cousins was burnt alive during communal riots in Maharashtra’s Bhiwandi in the eighties. According to sources, Tunda was allegedly indoctrinated into terrorist activities by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence or ISI in the eighties, which also trained him in making improvised explosive devices.
But Tunda earned notoriety and came on the police radar after the Mumbai serial bombings in 1993.
Police say before he got involved in the 1993 Mumbai bombings, he had constituted a ‘tanzeem’ – an organisation set up with the lofty aim of working for the community – Tanzeem Islah-ul-Muslimeen (Islamic Armed Organization) with one Jalees Ansari, a resident of Mumbai.
In 1993, Tunda and Ansari had set off a series of explosions in Mumbai and Hyderabad and seven separate bomb blasts on trains. After Ansari’s arrest in January 1994, Tunda fled to Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh.
He returned from Dhaka to India to mastermind the deadly 1996-1998 blasts. In almost all the blasts in Delhi during 1996-98, Tunda’s men, who were from Pakistan and Bangladesh, had detonated bombs using pencil batteries, he said.
The most devastating of these attacks were blasts in a crowded private bus at Punjabi Bagh in New Delhi in December 1997. Four people had died in that attack and 24 others were injured.
Subsequently, Tunda fled to Pakistan via Bangladesh, from his home in Ghaziabad in 1998.
The hunt for Tunda died down in 2000 when Indian intelligence agencies believed a news item that he has been killed. He returned to the surveillance radar in August 2005 when Abdul Razzak Masood, an alleged LeT chief coordinator in Dubai arrested by the Special Cell of the Delhi police, disclosed that Tunda was alive and had met him in Lahore in December 2003.
Tunda’s name surfaced again in July 2006 when Kenyan police claimed to arrest him. But it turned out to be a case of mistaken identity with the arrested person being a UK national.
Sources said Tunda had been guiding the banned Students Islamic Movement of India, which later turned into Indian Mujahideen. He is also accused of motivating the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar to perpetrate attacks against the Buddhists there.
He had also tried to cause serial explosions in India in 2010, just before the Commonwealth Games, but failed.
Tunda married thrice and has 7 children. He married an attractive Mamtaz (17) of Rajsahi of Bangladesh in 2003 when Tunda was just 60. Mamtaz’s father and youngest father-in-law of Tunda, Mahammad Zakaria was then 40 when the eldest son of Tunda, Mohammad Kasim was 41 at that time. Kashim is absconded for a long time after a blast in Srinagar in 2001. Tunda’s third son, Wasib is now in a Delhi jail, while Tunda’s father-in-law Zakaria in a Kolkata jail. The whole family of Tunda is attached with Jihadi activities.
Lashker e Toiba is a prime terrorist group which runs Jihad against infidels throughout the word under a wide network of major Jihad outfits.
Special Task Force and other prime investigative agencies are now trying had for a joint interrogation of Tunda and Zakaria, face to face to unearth the position of sleeper cell of Jihadi outfits in eastern India as well in other parts of India.