Noor Mohammad Tantray alias Noor Trali, the Jaish-e-Muhammad divisional commander killed in a gunfight with government forces on Tuesday, was a resident of Darganie Gund hamlet of Aripal tehsil in Pulwama district and was described by many security officials as a "new headache" for forces in Kashmir.
Barely four feet in height, Tantray, 47, was a tailor before joining militancy and would work in his orchards and farm fields. He is survived by his mother, brother and four sisters.
A police report, a copy of which is with Greater Kashmir, reads that Tantray was associated with militancy since 2000 and had received six-month arms training from Pakistan before returning to Kashmir.
In 2003, he was apprehended by Delhi police after arms and ammunition and 'hawala' money were recovered from his possession, the report reads.
A case vide FIR No 70/2003 U/S 120-B, 121-A, 122,123 IPC stands registered in police station Lodhi colony New Delhi against him.
In January 2011, Tantray and his associates were sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in Delhi. After being lodged in Delhi's Tihar jail for few months, he was shifted to Srinagar and later released on parole in 2015. Following this, the J&K High Court extended his parole several times.
Tantray, according to his relatives, spent few weeks with Muhammad Afzal Guru in Tihar jail before he (Guru) was sent to gallows on February 9, 2013.
A source said that on 14 July this year, Tantray left his home and did not return. On that day, a gunfight broke out in his adjoining village Satura where three militants were killed.
Six days after the gunfight, his family members reported the matter to the police at police station Tral and a missing report vide DD NO 15 Dated 20-7-17 was lodged. Later, the police informed the family that he (Tantray) had joined the militant ranks.
The police considered Tantray as the "most senior associate" of JeM who "had a wide network."
A police official said that Tantray had revived the Jaish cadre in southern Kashmir areas where only Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashker-e-Toiba were active.
"His death is a big blow to the JeM as he was a protagonist in reviving Jaish in Kashmir," the official said.
Superintendent of police Awantipora, Muhammad Zahid Malik, alleged that Tantray was involved in a grenade attack on minister for public works Naeem Akhtar's cavalcade in Tral on September 21.