New Delhi: Abdul Karim Tunda
, Lashkar-e-Taiba's "bomb expert" has claimed that underworld don Dawood Ibrahim is still in Karachi and under the protection of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan, sources in the Delhi Police have told NDTV.
Tunda, who is one of India's 20 most wanted terrorists, was arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police from the Indo-Nepal border on Friday. During his interrogation, Tunda has claimed that he met Dawood in Karachi a year ago, sources say.
Last week, for the very first time, a senior Pakistani official had admitted the presence of Dawood, on their soil, but hours later he had downplayed his statement.
Pakistan till now has denied the presence of Dawood on its soil, though Indian security agencies have repeatedly mentioned his name and details in dossiers handed over to Pakistani authorities. According to reports, Dawood was based in Karachi, where he had fled after the 1993 Mumbai bombings in which 257 people were killed and over 700 injured.
Delhi Police sources also say Tunda was in regular touch with Dawood and Jamat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai terror attacks. He had allegedly met Saeed a week before August 15.
Sources say he also had very close association with the ISI, and acted as a recruiter for them. He also runs a network of Madarsas in Pakistan. Delhi Police believes Tunda is a bigger catch than Abu Jundal, has in-depth knowledge of terror network in Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, is a motivational speaker and through his excellent network of operatives in Bangladesh was pushing material and men into India.
Tunda is in the custody of the Delhi Police till Tuesday; he was arrested with a Pakistani passport issued in January this year.
The Laskhar man is around 70 years old and wanted in 21 cases. He is accused of masterminding over 40 bomb blasts in New Delhi, Panipat, Sonepat, Ludhiana, Kanpur and Varanasi between December 1996 and January 1998 that left 21 dead and over 400 injured.
He had also planned to carry out bombings in and around Delhi in 2010 at the time of the Commonwealth Games, but the plan was timely thwarted with the arrest of his accomplices who were supposed to carry out the attack."
Tunda is also accused of involvement in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.