Abdul Karim @ Tunda is one of India’s Most Wanted Terrorist and an important Indian in the Lashkar-e-Taiba who had been living and operating out of Pakistan since long in coordinating and master minding several terrorist strikes carried out by this terrorist organization on the Indian soil. He was arrested on Banwasa – Mehendarnagar border with Nepal at 3 pm on 16/08/2013 and brought to Delhi by road. He was carrying a Pakistani Passport No AC 4413161 issued on 23 January, 2013 in the name of Abdul Quddus.
Abdul Karim Tunda was born in 1943 at Chatta Lal Miya, behind Delite Cinema, Daryaganj, Delhi. His father was a metal worker who used to do ‘dhallai’ i.e. melting and molding of Copper, Zinc & Aluminium. Soon after his birth, his father along with his family had shifted to their native village in Bazaar Khurd, Railway Road, Pilkhua, Ghaziabad, UP. Abdul Karim Tunda worked as a carpenter, scarp dealer and cloth merchant till he attained the age of 40 years before becoming a radicalized jehadi militant. His younger brother Abdul Malik (a carpenter) is reportedly the only immediate family member alive in India.
Abdul Karim Tunda is a well known LeT explosive expert/terrorist wanted for his role in 1993 Mumbai serial train blasts, Delhi bomb blasts of 1997-98 and serial bombings in the state of Uttar Pradesh and also at Panipat, Sonepat, Ludhiana, Hyderabad etc. Tunda is reportedly also wanted in several cases of serial blasts in trains in Hyderabad, Gulbarga, Surat and Lucknow on December 5 & 6, 1993. The Pakistan trained Laskar-e-Taiba terrorists, belonging to Pakistan and Bangladesh, on the instructions of Abdul Karim @ Tunda had carried out 24 explosions in Delhi, 5 in Haryana and 3 explosions in U.P.
Abdul Karim @ Tunda is one of India’s Most Wanted Terrorist and his name figures in the list of top 20 terrorists. He is wanted in 21 terrorist cases in Delhi that were committed in 1994 and in 1996-1998. Tunda had trained young indoctrinated youths in preparing bombs with locally available materials i.e. Urea, Nitric acid, potassium chloride, nitrobenzene and sugar and planting them at crowded places to cause maximum casualties.
Nicknamed Tunda for handicapped left arm (sustained in the course of bomb-making) is closely associated with Lashkar-e-Tayaba (LeT)/ISI in Pakistan. Tunda, in early 1980s, was initiated into terrorism by the ISI. In March 1985, while Abdul Karim was in Mumbai in connection with his trade, there were communal riots in Bhiwandi. Abdul Karim’s left hand got severed in an accident while he was preparing a bomb and this later earned him the feared nickname ‘Tunda’. In Mumbai, Abdul Karim Tunda met and befriended one Dr. Jalees Ansari, r/o Mumbai. Both Abdul Karim and Dr. Jalees Ansari constituted their own Tanzeem namely ‘Tanzeem Islah-ul-Muslimeen’ – ‘Islamic Armed Organization/ Organization for the Improvement of Muslims’. Another top LeT militant, Azam Ghouri, had joined the Tanzeem floated by Ahl-e-Hadis to avenge the Babri Masjid demolition incident.
Abdul Karim Tunda and his associate Jalees Ansari had, in 1993, set off a series of explosions in Mumbai and Hyderabad and seven separate bomb blasts on trains. After Jalees’s arrest in January 1994, Tunda fled to Dhaka, Bangladesh. In Dhaka, Tunda started imparting training to jehadi elements in bomb making. He also stayed in Pakistan, where he is known to have imparted training on fabrication of lED and other explosives to Mujahids, who are sent to India from Pakistan for Jehad.
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. The most devastating of these blasts was in a crowded private bus at Punjabi Bagh in Delhi in December 1997. The blast occurred when the bus, running between Ajmeri Gate and Nangloi, reached Rampura in Punjabi Bagh, killing four commuters and injuring 24 others. He was the mastermind of the series of bomb blasts in New Delhi, Panipat, Sonepat, Ludhiana, Kanpur and Varanasi between December 1996 and January 1998.
Subsequently, Tunda had reportedly fled to Pakistan via Bangladesh, from his home in Ghaziabad (1998). The breakthrough for the police came with the arrest (February, 1998) of Tunda’s two Bangladeshi ‘students’, Mato-ur Rehman and Akbar alias Haroon, from Sadar Bazar railway station, New Delhi. Delhi Police later arrested 24 other members of the module, including Tunda’s confidants, Kamran and Shakeel.
The hunt for Tunda had temporarily died down in 2000 when it was believed that Tunda had been killed in a blast in Bangladesh. Meanwhile, Tunda’s continuing involvement came to notice in August 2005 when Abdul Razzak Masood, an alleged LeT chief coordinator in Dubai (UAE), arrested by the Special Cell of the Delhi police, disclosed that Tunda was alive and he had met him in Lahore in December, 2003.
Tunda has been declared a ‘proclaimed offender’ in the cases pending against him for the 1996-98 serial blasts.
In 2008, when India had demanded the Pakistani government to turn over 20 most wanted terrorists to demonstrate its seriousness about fighting terrorism after the 26/11 attack on Mumbai, Abdul Karim Tunda @ Abdul Quddooss had a prominent place in it. This list includes persons like Laskhar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Mohd Saeed, Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar, mafia don and terror kingpin Dawood Ibrahim amongst others.
Of late Abdul Karim Tunda (LeT) had tried to cause serial explosions in India in 2010, just before Commonwealth Games, New Delhi using an elaborate network of FICN/Human Traffickers active in Bangladesh. However, some of his men were arrested by police in the process, while others are still absconding.
Abdul Karim Tunda had also been associated with Rohingyan operatives in the past. His association with Rehan @ Zafar (LeT Commander), Azam Cheema @ Babajee (LeT Commander) is well known. Abdul Karim Tunda is known to and worked with Hafiz Saeed, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Wadhawa Singh, Ratandeep Singh, Karachi based IM absconders, Abdul Aziz @ Bada Sajid and others. He is well known to Dawood Ibrahim.