In a major setback to Delhi Police’s Special Cell, a sessions court Saturday discharged suspected Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) bomb expert Abdul Karim Tunda and three others, who had been accused of helping Pakistani and Bangladeshi terrorists infiltrate India in 1997 to carry out terror strikes. The clean chit comes in the fourth and final case filed by the Special Cell against Tunda.
Citing lack of evidence, the court discharged Tunda (73), his father-in-law Mohd Zakaria and their two alleged aides Allauddin and Bashiruddin. The Delhi Police had named Tunda in connection with as many as 20 cases, but had filed only four chargesheets against him.
Last year, Tunda had been discharged in connection with three other terror cases, including one from 1994, in which he had been charged under the stringent Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA). The Special Cell has moved the Supreme Court against the clean chit to Tunda in the 1994 alleged terror case.
In the ‘infiltration’ case, the Special Cell had filed the chargesheet against Tunda and three others for alleged offences punishable under various sections of the IPC, including 121 (waging war against the country), 121-A (conspiring to commit certain offences against the state) and under provisions of the Explosives Substance Act, Foreigners Act and Arms Act.
The prosecution had claimed that Allauddin and Bashiruddin met Tunda in 1994 through Zakaria, before joining the LeT. It had claimed that on Tunda’s instruction, they helped Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals, allegedly involved in various terror strikes here in 1997, to infiltrate into India.
Tunda was arrested from the Indo-Nepal border at Banbasa on August 16, 2013. Zakaria, Allauddin and Bashiruddin were lodged in various jails in West Bengal in connection with cases lodged there against them.
In March last year, a Delhi court had discharged Tunda in the TADA case. A month later, he was discharged in others cases pertaining to a blast in Delhi’s Karol Bagh in 1997 and two blasts in Sadar Bazaar in the same year.