Top JeM terrorist killed in Kashmir's Pulwama, encounter continues

Tantray was responsible for the militant attack on the Border Security Force's (BSF) camp near Srinagar airport in October, a police officer said.

The encounter, reportedly, began in the Karnabal Samboora area of South Kashmir's Pulwama district between the militants and the security forces on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday. Tantray has been a key commander in leading one of the wings of the locally powerful extremist organisation, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).

However, when the security cordon tightened, the hiding terrorists whose exact number was still not known, fired at the security forces triggering a fierce encounter, said the police chief. Inspector General of Police Muneer Khan said that the killed terrorist was a member of the Jaish-e-Mohammed and also the jihadist group of Kashmir.

A statement issued by the police here said that the search operation at Samboora near the highway town of Pampore was launched on specific input about the presence of militant commander and two others in a private house.

Tantray was hiding inside a house, along with two or three other militants. Tantray was released on parole in 2015, after which the Jammu and Kashmir High Court extended his parole several times. Noor was later sentenced to life imprisonment by POTA court in 2011.

Noor Mohammad Tantray was Hailing from Tral area of south Kashmir, Tantray's death is seen as a blow to the terror group as he was the key man in reviving the JeM in the south and central Kashmir.

A police officer who arrested Tantray in Delhi in 2003 said he had originally been recruited because at 4ft 2inches (1.27m) he did not look like a militant.

Police sources earlier told The Indian Express that Tantray, a resident of Tral in Pulwama district, had taken over command of the JeM in South Kashmir and was engineering the outfit's bid to regroup in the Valley. His funeral was attended by many, including some militants who offered a gun salute.

  • Rogelio Becker