New Delhi, Aug 19: LeT's top bomb expert Abdul Karim alias Tunda, who was arrested by Delhi police on Friday, had his first brush with explosives at the age of 12 years.
Tunda's association with bombs can be gauged by the fact that his left hand got severed in an accident while he was preparing a bomb, and this later earned him a feared nickname 'Tunda'.
Born in 1943 in Daryaganj area in Delhi, Tunda told his interrogators that at the age of around 10-12 years, a small time vendor used to come in his locality on a bicycle to sell 'Churan'.
In order to attract kids, the vendor used to show a magic trick. "Tunda told us that the vendor would put some 'Churan' on a stick followed by a Safedi (some white substance) and as soon as it touched it with a certain liquid, it would catch fire in a flash," said a police official.
This mesmerised everybody, but young Tunda was curious about what was behind this trick. He later found out that it was 'Potash' on which the safedi (sugar) was put and the liquid was some sort of acid.
When the three met it led to a flash flame, the official said. However, after around 30 years, when Tunda joined Jehadi forces in 1985 after some of his relatives were killed in communal riots in Bhiwandi, Maharashtra and he wanted to strike back, he remembered the old trick and started experimenting with Sugar, Potash and Sulphuric Acid, police said.
"He kept experimenting with these materials and finally learnt to make a bomb. Later, in Mumbai, Tunda met and befriended one Jalees Ansari.
Tunda then taught Ansari to make bombs who later earned the dubious distinction of being 'Dr Bomb'," said a senior police official.
Tunda, a close aide of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and one of India's most wanted terrorists, was arrested on Friday after being on the run in several countries for 19 years.