New Delhi, Aug 18: The arrest of ‘Hakim-ji' aka Syed Abdul Karim ‘Tunda, has brought back that lost hope in India's fight against Lashkar-e-Taiba's jihad against India. The nearly 70-year-old man with a flowing beard dyed with henna, this man was one of those who gave birth to the modern jihadist movement in India.
Tunda might be useful for extracting information and more details on the inner workings of the Lashkar-e-Taiba's jihad against India than any terrorist held since 1993.
For over twenty years, he evolved from being a hands-on terror operative to a key mentor, fundraiser and recruiter among jihadists drawn from the Indian diaspora in West Asia.
ANI reported that after his arrest, Family and neighbours of Tunda welcomed Delhi Police's arrest of one of India's ‘most wanted' terrorists, saying that he should be hanged to death or given the harshest of punishments for the serious crimes that he has committed.
On Tunda's arrest, his brother Abdul Malik who resides at Hapur said that the Police had frequently visited his residence to inquire about his whereabouts from family members. "The court will decide whether the responsible figures and authorities of the country are correct or not," Abdul Malik said. He also added that 1991 was the last time he saw his brother.
Tunda's sister-in-law came out openly saying that he should be punished with death sentence since he had been the root cause for all the harassment endured by the entire family. "Earlier, many times it was said that he had been arrested but it was never the case. But this time it is good news that he has been arrested. He should be hanged to death. We were facing lot of trouble because of him," Tahira said.
Devinder Sharma, a neighbour of Abdul Karim Tunda, rejoiced over his arrest and said that maximum punishment should be awarded to him, as prescribed in the Indian Penal Code (IPC). "There should be a strict investigation against him. He was a shame and had even ruined the reputation of this locality. It's a very proud moment for the country that he got arrested a day after the India's Independence Day," Devinder Sharma said.
The hunt for Tunda had faded away in 2000, after news trickled in to Indian intelligence agencies that he had died. But the case was reopened in August 2005 when an alleged LeT chief coordinator and operative was arrested by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police, who disclosed that Tunda was still alive.
"Tunda has also worked with most wanted terrorist Azam Chima, Zaki Ur Raheman Lakhvi, Hafiz Saeed and Bada Sahib, and was also associated with Dawood Ibrahim, Iindia's most wanted terrorist," Special Commissioner of the Delhi Police Special Cell SN Srivastava said. He also informed that the top LeT terrorist had planned to carry out a blast in Delhi ahead of the Commonwealth Games in 2010, but could not succeed, as his aides were arrested.
Tunda is said to have had a role in the 1993 Bombay blasts as well as in bomb explosion incidents in Ludhiana, Hyderabad, Sonepat, Panipat and Surat.
Tunda, was arrested by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police from the India-Nepal Border late on Friday night and a Pakistani passport was recovered from him.