In a major boost for counter-insurgency operations in Jammu-Kashmir, police Tuesday killed Jasih-e-Mohammed commander Noor Muhammad Tantray in an encounter in Pulwama district.
Noor, a three-feet-tall militant, had become a security headache for forces in the Valley after he jumped parole and rejoined militancy. He was credited with reviving the JeM’s foothold in the Valley and was reportedly behind several militant attacks, including October’s attack on the BSF camp outside the Srinagar airport.
Police also confirmed his involvement in the grenade attack on State PWD Minister Naeem Akhtar’s cavalcade in Tral on September 21.
J&K Police, acting on a tip-off, launched cordon and search operations in south Kashmir’s Samboora on Monday night. They cordoned off a house in which two JeM militants were reportedly hiding. Noor’s body was recovered in the morning after a prolonged gun battle with security forces.
Noor was a close aide of JeM commander Ghazi Baba, who was behind the 2001 attack on Parliament, police said. He was arrested in 2003 for being in touch with JeM militants and recovered Rs 19.2 lakh from his possession. Noor was sentenced to life by a POTA court in 2011. He was released on parole in 2015 after being shifted to a jail in Srinagar.
A police officer told The Indian Express in October that Tantray’s physical attributes are a disadvantage for him. “He is just three feet tall,” he said. “So he can be easily identified, making his movement difficult.”