New Delhi, Aug 19: One of India's most wanted terrorists Syed Abdul Karim alias Tunda was arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police on August 16, at Banwasa-Mehendarnagar border with Nepal at 3 pm, after evading the security agencies for nineteen years.
At the time of his arrest, the bespectacled Tunda was sporting a long red hennaed beard and was clad in a white loose long shirt.
Born in Chatta Lal Mian area behind Delite Cinema in central Delhi's Daryaganj area in 1943, Tunda's family shifted to Bazaar Khurd area in Pilkhuwa in Uttar Pradesh's Ghaziabad district, located around 70 kms from Delhi.
Tunda's terror attack Timeline:
After allegedly indoctrinated by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in 1980s, Tunda became a jihadi at the age of 40.
After allegedly masterminding 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, in 1994, he fled to Bangladesh where he taught making bombs to jihadi elements and in 1998, he acted as 'mentor' to give training to younger generation of Lashkar operatives in terror camps in Pakistan.
In 1994, Tunda's name surfaced in Chattisgarh Express bomb blast near Ghaziabad railway station that claimed 19 lives.
In 1994, it is said that Delhi Police and the intelligence bureau also raided Ashok Nagar area after receiving a tip-off from sources. But Tunda managed to escape before being nabbed. But, security agencies found explosives, detonators, Pak made weapons and objectionable documents written in Urdu from his hideout in huge quantity.
In 1996, an Interpol Red Corner notice was issued against Tunda.
In 1997, after returning to India, he was involved in a bomb blast that took place near Punjabi Bagh in west Delhi in a Blueline bus that killed at least four people and injured around 24 people.
In 2001, after attack on Parliament, India demanded Tunda's extradition from Pakistan.
Tunda's name was on number 15 in a dossier of "most wanted terrorists" that India handed over to Pakistan after 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
He is also believed to be guiding the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), which later turned into Indian Mujahideen. Besides that, he was planning to 'recruit' Rohingyas from Myanmar to target Buddhists there.
He had also tried to carry out serial explosions in the national capital Delhi, just before the Commonwealth Games in 2010, but the plan was foiled as his accomplices were arrested.
According to reports, it has emerged that Tunda aims at carrying out blasts at crowded places and inflict maximum casualties.
A close aide of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and top LeT commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, an "expert bomb maker", Tunda is accused of masterminding over 40 cases of bomb blasts in Mumbai, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Hyderabad and Surat.
70-year-old Tunda is one of the prized catch by the Delhi police in the war against terror , who took shelter in various countries after fleeing India 20 years back. He also had a major hand in spreading Laskhar-e-Taiba's network outside Jammu and Kashmir.
Tunda's arrest points towards ISI-terror nexus?
As per reports, Tunda's arrest also point towards the complicity of Pakistan's ISI and one of India's most wanted man in 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
During interrogation, Tunda, who is described as a "walking encyclopaedia" on LeT by the Delhi Police, has revealed that the India's most wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim is being protected by the notorious intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and has "deep rooted links" with the Pakistani Army.
Presently, in police custody, he has also confessed that Dawood Ibrahim is operating FICN (fake Indian currency note) network with active help from ISI.
It has been reported that Tunda has worked in a close coordination with another Indian-origin ISI asset Iqbal Kana who is suspected to push at least Rs 1,600 crore of FICN into India every year.
He told Delhi Police that he is also in touch with organisations like ISI, LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Indian Mujahiddin and Babbar Khalsa.
Police sources have said that Tunda's cellphone is being hailed as the "jackpot" as they claim to have found contact numbers of various "terrorists".
Born to a lower middle-class family in Delhi,Tunda is reported to be fluent in English, Hindi, Urdu and Gujarati languages.
Tunda's leaning towards extremism:
It is said that Tunda's leanings towards fundamentalism began after he witnessed the 1985 riots in Mominpura area of Nagpur in Maharashtra.
Some reports suggested that he turned a radical after one of his cousins was burnt alive during communal riots in Maharashtra's Bhiwandi in the eighties.
He came to be known as 'Tunda' after losing his left arm in a bomb-making process.
Reportedly, his younger brother Abdul Malik, a carpenter is the only family member living in India.
It is also reported that Tunda has refused the police to meet his family members living in Pilkhuwa.
Tunda married thrice:
According to reports, in 1982, Tunda suddenly disappeared for months after deserting her wife Zarina.
Later at 42, he got married with 18-year-old Mumtaz from Ahmadabad.
Five years back, he got married for the third time to a 18-year-old girl in Pakistan.
Defence Analyst's take:
The Defence Analyst Captain (Retd) Bharat Verma on Saturday said the death of Iqbal Mirchi in London and the arrest of Syed Abdul Karim alias Tunda is a very major setback for fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
(With Agency inputs)