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 organizing attacks at different places, he said.
Malik said the operation - that began on Monday evening and ended early on Tuesday - was a big success for security forces as Tantray was wanted in connection with a number of militancy-related incidents.
The Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police, Shesh Paul Vaid, said Chhota Noora and his associates were planning to attack an Army convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar highway.
JeM spokesperson Mohammad Hassan Shah in a statement issued to news agency GNS identified the slain militants as Noor Muhammad Tantray of Tral (Pulwama) and a guest "mujahid" Arsalaan.
He was also believed to have masterminded an attack on a Border Security Force camp near Srinagar airport in October. There was input about presence of 2/3 terrorists near NHW planning to attack convoy.
He was also involved in the grenade attack carried on State PWD Minister Naeem Akhtar's cavalcade in Tralon 21 September.
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An official said that the searches are going on in the area.
Consequently, he remained in Tral in South Kashmir and became a major overground worker of JeM.
A Jaish-e-Mohammed militant who surprised security forces with his ability to handle an AK-47, despite being barely a foot-and-a-half taller than the 87cm-long gun, was killed in an overnight operation in what police said was a major blow to the group.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police, 110 Battalion Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and 50 RR (Rashtriya Rifles) have been deployed at the site, where the encounter is underway. He even served a sentence at Central Jail in Srinagar and was out on parole in 2015.
However, he jumped parole and joined the JeM.
Meanwhile, the forces in Kashmir have been successful in neutralizing over 10 of the JeM terrorists in past few months.