Srinagar: Top Jaish-e-Mohammad militant Noor Mohammad Tantray, considered the key behind the outfit’s revival in the Valley, was killed on Tuesday in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, an Army official said.
The 47-year-old was wanted in various ‘militant’ incidents earlier this year, including a suicide attack at the BSF camp at Srinagar airport.
“The divisional commander of JeM, Noor Mohammad Tantrey alias Noor Trali, was killed in a gun battle with security forces in Samboora area of Pulwama,” the official said.
He said that the body of Tantray was recovered along with one weapon this morning from the encounter site. The house, where Tantray was staying, was completely destroyed as government forces used heavy ammunition to fight the militant commander.
“In a significant breakthrough Awantipora Police, Army and CRPF acting on a specific input cordoned a cluster of houses at Samboora which resulted in a fierce gun battle leading to the killing of a top JeM commander Noor Mohammed Tantray,” police said in a statement.
According to the statement, Tantray was serving a sentence at Central Jail Srinagar and was out on parole in 2015.
“In July 2017, after the Aripal encounter in which three JeM militants were killed, Tantray went underground and soon became the key man of the outfit in coordinating and organizing attacks at different places,” the statement added. Consequently, he remained in Tral at South Kashmir and became a major overground worker of the JeM in the region, they said.
According to the police, he was one of the chief architects of the attack on BSF camp near Srinagar airport in October, adding that he was also wanted in a number of ‘militant’ attacks in south and central Kashmir.
As news of the killing of Tantray alias Noor Trali spread in area, the youth took to streets and started pelting stones on forces which was retaliated by firing tear smoke shells. Clashes were reported from main town in Pulwama, Kakapora and Aripal Tral. However, there was no report of any injury.
Meanwhile, at least eight-rounds of funeral was held for slain militant, amid anti-India, pro-freedom and pro-Islam slogans.
Local sources said that a few militants appeared during the funeral who offered gun-salute to their slain commander.
Funeral prayers were held for Tantray at a local ground in his native village as mourners were pouring in from various parts of the district. Local sources said that all entry and exit points were sealed by the authorities with barbed wires amid heavy deployment of forces.
Tantray hailed from Darganaie Gund village of Aripal tehsil in Tral area of south Kashmir and his death is being seen as a blow to the militant group as he was the key man in reviving the JeM in south and central Kashmir.