Top JeM militant Noor Mohammad killed in encounter in J&K

Top JeM militant Noor Mohammad killed in encounter in J&K
A top commander of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) outfit was killed in an overnight encounter with security forces in Samboora village of Pulwama district on Monday.

Sources said a gunfight erupted after a joint team of the army’s 50-Rashtriya Rifles and special operations group (SOG) of the Jammu and Kashmir Police laid siege in Samboora, Pulwama, 32 km from here, late on Monday night, following inputs about the presence of some militants in the area.

“Two JeM militants, who were trapped in a house, fired on the search party which was retilatated. In an overnight encounter the house was brought down by the security forces,” they said.

A police spokesman said that the body of one militant has been recovered so far along with arms and ammunition.He identified the slain militant as Noor Mohammad Trantray alias Noor Trali, a divisional commander of the JeM outfit.

“The slain militant was one of the chief architects of the BSF camp attack near Srinagar airport this year (October). He was heading the Jaish in Kashmir. Besides he was wanted in a number of offences in south and central Kashmir,” he said.

‘Jumped parole’

The forty-seven-year-old Trali was arrested in Delhi in 2003 and sentenced to life by a POTA court in 2011. He was released on parole in 2015 but reportedly jumped parole and rejoined militancy.The police said his death is a big blow to the JeM as he was the key man in reviving the outfit in south and central Kashmir.

J&K Director General of police, Shesh Pal Vaid in a tweet said that the slain militant along with his associates were planning to attack a convoy on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.“There was input about the presence of two to three militants near the national highway planning to attack a convoy. One body of a militant has been recovered so far and the search for others is going on,” the DGP tweeted.

Despite being a ‘dwarf’, JeM commander Trali had kept security forces on their toes in south Kashmir with his guerrilla tactics.

‘Dwarf’ commander

According to police, the three-foot tallTrali was instrumental in the revival of JeM in the Valley in the second half of 2017. “Being a dwarf, Trali gave a slip to security forces many a time as nobody doubted him to be a dreaded militant. He was a thinking militant and brave enough to even drop militants at the attack site and sometimes recce the spot himself,” a senior police officer told DH.

Trali was a resident of Tral area, from where Burhan Wani and Zakir Musa also hail.

“He had a good network in and around Tral area and was considered as an interlocutor between various militant organisations operating in Kashmir. Trali was the bridge between Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Toiba and JeM militant outfits in south Kashmir,” the officer said.

A local news gathering agency, quoting JeM spokesperson’s statement, said Trali was its ‘operational chief who had joined the outfit in 2000”.

“He (Trali) was arrested in 2003 and was languishing in various Indian jails for 12 years. His escaping from prison in 2015 was a big blow to Indian forces as he reorganised and strengthened the outfit,” the statement said.

According to police records, Trali took the centre stage after most of the top commanders of Hizbul and LeT were killed in the first six months of this year. “It was he who revived the JeM in Kashmir, particularly in the southern districts of Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam. He was also good in recruiting local youths,” police said.

After remaining defunct in Kashmir for almost a decade, the JeM came back on the scene, plotting fidayeen (suicide) attacks, including one on Pulwama police district lines in which eight police and paramilitary forces and three militants were killed.“Trali was the key plotter and coordinator of a fidayeen attack on the BSF camp outside the high-security Srinagar airport, in which a BSF official and three militants were killed,” police said.

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