Indian police capture alleged top terrorist
By Abhaya Srivastava, AFPNEW DELHI -- Indian police said Saturday they had arrested a top militant accused of helping mastermind the 1993 Mumbai blasts and over 40 other deadly bomb attacks across the country.
August 18, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
Seventy-year-old Abdul Karim Tunda, an alleged member of the banned Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group, was arrested by a special Delhi police team near the border with Nepal on Friday.
“This arrest is a huge achievement for the country's security agencies,” S.N. Srivastava, Special Commissioner of police, told a news conference in New Delhi.
The bespectacled Tunda, sporting a long red hennaed beard and clad in a white loose long shirt, was paraded in front of reporters in the Indian capital by police.
They accused Tunda of being a “well-known LeT explosive expert and terrorist” and said they had been seeking him for his alleged role in 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai which killed at least 250 people in a single day.
The 1993 attacks targeted hotels, offices, buildings and banks in India's financial hub and were seen as retaliation for religious rioting in which mainly Muslims died following the razing of an ancient mosque.
He also “masterminded” bomb blasts in Delhi in 1997-98 and a string of bombings elsewhere in the country, Srivastava told reporters.
“Tunda is one of India's most-wanted and his name figures in the list of top-20 terrorists. We arrested him from the Indo-Nepal border. He had a Pakistani passport with him,” Srivastava said.
Tunda fled in 1994 to neighboring Bangladesh, where he trained radical young people in bomb-making, Delhi police said, adding he also stayed briefly in Pakistan before returning to India.
Indian police officials gesture as they pose with Abdul Karim Tunda, center, outside a police station in New Delhi on Saturday, Aug. 17. (AFP)