The mastermind behind the July 2005 attack on the Ram temple in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh was shot dead on Saturday in a gun battle with the police on the outskirts of Jammu, officials said.
Saifullah Qarri, a divisional commander of the Jaish-e-Mohammad, was hiding in a house in Ramzan Mohalla of Janipur, a congested locality, with one of his associates.
Officials said a joint team of the Jammu and Kashmir Police and Delhi Police zeroed in on the militant leader and engaged him in a gunfight lasting for over two hours.
Qarri was killed at the end of the battle while his associate was injured. The latter has been arrested.
A Delhi Police sub-inspector, Joginder Singh, was also injured. He is being shifted to New Delhi for treatment.
Inspector General of Police (Jammu Zone) SP Vaid told IANS that Qarri was one of the most active militant leaders in Jammu and Kashmir.
"This is our biggest success against Jaish-e-Mohammad in the recent times," Vaid said.
He added that the police had been looking for Qarri ever since he was found to be main person behind the audacious Ayodhya attack. He had gone to Pakistan for some months before returning to Jammu and Kashmir.
The police are also questioning the couple who own the house where Qarri was hiding.
"We hope to get more details as to why was the militant leader in Jammu and that too close to August 15," Vaid said.