Divisional Commander on Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) Noor Mohammad Tantrey, who was gunned down by the security forces in Pulwama on Tuesday morning, had been giving sleepless nights to security forces in Jammu and Kashmir in recent times.
The 47-year-old resident of Tral, who was also known as "Chhota Noora" because of his short stature, was apparently the "chief architect" of an attack on a Border Security Force (BSF) camp near the Srinagar International Airport in October and last year's Uri attack.
The body of 47-year-old Tantray was recovered this morning after an encounter broke out in Pulwama during the night.
"We came to know of presence of a JeM terrorist who was the mastermind of all attacks carried out by JeM. Encounter continued till early morning, JeM terrorist was killed & one AK-56, pistol and magazines were recovered," Jammu and Kashmir IGP Muneer Khan told news agency ANI.
Terming his killing as a "significant breakthrough", the police said that a crack team of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, acting on a specific input, cordoned off a cluster of houses at Samboora which resulted in a fierce gun battle leading to the elimination of the top JeM commander.
Tantray was a convict in a case registered in 2003 in Delhi and was serving his sentence at Central Jail, Srinagar until he was out on parole in 2015. Consequently, he remained in Tral at South Kashmir and became a major overground worker of the JeM in the region, they said. In July 2017, after the Aripal encounter in which three JeM terrorists were killed, Tantray went underground and soon became the key man of the terror outfit in coordinating and organising attacks at different places.
An NDTV report quoted SP Vaid, Director General of police, as saying that Noora and his associates were planning to attack a convoy on the Srinagar-Jammu highway. But they managed to get to him in time.
OneIndia News with PTI inputs