Mohd Zakariya, a close aide of top Lashkar-e-Tayiba bomb expert Abdul Karim Tunda, was on Monday remanded to 10- day police custody by a Delhi court after the investigators said he had helped in illegal infiltration of Pakistani nationals into India through Bangladesh.
Zakariya, who was lodged in Presidency jail in Kolkata, was produced before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Amit Bansal in pursuance to the production warrants issued against him earlier.
Seeking custodial interrogation of Zakariya, who is Tunda's father-in-law, the special cell of the Delhi police told the court that in 1994 when Tunda had gone to Pakistan, Zakariya had helped him illegally enter Bangladesh.
From Bangladesh, Tunda had flown to Pakistan. Zakariya, who was arrested by the West Bengal police in some other case, is accused of helping Pakistani nationals to infiltrate into India and Tunda is also in police custody in this case.
Detailing Zakariya's role, the police said he had also helped some Pakistani nationals to infiltrate into India for carrying out various terror strikes which occurred in and around Delhi in 1998.
The police also sought Zakariya's custodial interrogation to confront him with other accused, Mohd Basiruddin and Allauddin. Police said he will be taken to the places from where he helped Pakistani nationals infiltrate into India.The court allowed the plea and remanded Zakariya to police custody till September 26.
The police had earlier said Allauddin is in a prison in Uttar Dinajpur in West Bengal and his custody has been sought. It had earlier sought Tunda's custody for confronting him with Allauddin and Zakariya and also to take him to West Bengal for nabbing other co-accused. It had said that Tunda was also required to be confronted with one Shafiq-ul-Islam for his involvement in the present case.
"Tunda disclosed he had facilitated the accused persons (Pakistani nationals) arrested in the present case in their infiltration into India, illegally with the help of Allauddin and Zakariya," the police had said.
They had told the court that two Bangladeshi nationals -- Abdul and Mati-ur-Rehman -- were arrested on February 27, 1998 and one hand grenade each was recovered from them besides other incriminating material.
During interrogation, they had admitted to their involvement in various terror strikes and said it was Tunda who had helped them infiltrate into India, the police said.
Eleven others, including Pakistani nationals, were also arrested. They are Mohd Amir Khan, Mohd Shakeel, Abdul Baqi, Abdul Rehman, Maqsood Ahmed, Mohd Azaz, Mohd Husain, Himam Sheikh, Mohd Umar, Mohd Safiqul and Abdul Qasim. Tunda was arrested from the Indo-Nepal border at Banbasa on August 16. He was then remanded in police custody for quizzing in connection with 37 bomb blast cases across India.
Tunda, 70, was admitted to SafdarjungHospital on August 22 after he complained of chest pain and was shifted to All India Institute of Medical Sciences a day later. He was discharged on September 3.
Another case against him, lodged in 1994, is in connection with the recovery of explosive substances at south Delhi's Malviya Nagar under the provisions of the stringent anti-terror law, Terrorist and Disruptive Activities.
Tunda was declared proclaimed offender in a case in which special cell arrested three suspected terrorists -- Aftab, Abdul Haq and Abdul Wahid --on January 17, 1994, for allegedly planning terror strikes in the national capital during Republic Day.
They had claimed that Tunda admitted to his involvement in several bomb blast incidents in Delhi and other states. These terrorists were planning a series of explosions in Delhi on January 26, 1994, police had said, adding that on January 20 that year, two more persons -- Aafaq Khan and Irfan Ahmed, too -- were arrested.