Security forces kill top militant commander, Jaish revivor

The government forces killed top Jaish-e-Muhammad commander Noor Muhammad Tantray alias Noor Trali on Tuesday morning in an encounter in Samboora area of Pampore in south Kashmir.

The 47-year-old and three feet tall Trali, was one of the important members of JeM, who was instrumental in organizing and establishing the return of JeM on the militant landscape in the Valley in second half of this year. Fearing massive funeral procession and possible protests in some areas of south Kashmir, the government has already suspended Internet in Pulwama and Awantipora and train services from Srinagar to south Kashmir have also been stopped.

After the killing of several top commanders of LeT and HM in first six months of 2017, JeM came back on scene plotting spectacular attacks including one on Pulwama district lines in which eight police and paramilitary forces and three militants were killed. Police claim that he was also a key plotter and coordinator of a sensational suicide attack on BSF camp outside, high security Srinagar airport, in which a BSF official and three militants were killed.

Trali, a resident of Tral district–from where Burhan Wani and Zakir Musa also hail—police claim went underground in July this year and became a successful Over Ground Worker for JeM in Awantipora belt. Soon, with his experience and network, Trali became the most wanted militant for the government forces, who finally managed to kill him on Tuesday morning.

In 2003, Trali was arrested in New Delhi for his alleged association with Jaish commander Ghazi Baba, mastermind of attack on parliament in 2001. He was lodged in Tihar jail and POTA court sentenced him to life imprisonment in 2011. He was released from Srinagar central jail on parole in 2015, which he jumped after several extensions.

“He was one of the chief architects of the BSF camp attack near Srinagar airport this year. He was heading the Jaish in Kashmir. Besides he was wanted in a number of terror offences in South and Central Kashmir,” read a J&K police statement issued here.

Senior police officials claim that Trali was a ‘thinking militant and brave enough’ to even drop militants at the attack site and sometimes recced the spot himself. He is also credited of being an interlocutor between several militant groups operating in south Kashmir. “Trali was the go-to guy for most of the new militants who infiltrated recently and operated in south Kashmir. His killing is a major blow to militant network in south Kashmir,” said a senior police official.

The government forces have killed more than 203 militants in the state this year and operation ‘All Out’ to ‘wipe out’ the militants is going on. According to official records more than 100 locals have joined militant ranks this year, which is highest in last seven years. In 2016, 88 locals joined militancy. The government has urged local militants to ‘return to mainstream’ and police claim that around ten locals have already dropped the arms and returned home.

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