Srinagar, Dec 27: 2014 was perceived to be "challenging" for the security grid in Jammu and Kashmir in view of the US announcement of troop pull-out from Afghanistan and two elections in the state but the number of casualties suffered by the security forces decreased slightly.
While number of militants killed in the counter-insurgency operations rose by 10 per cent to 110, number of security personnel killed dropped from 61 last year to 51 this year.
The year began on a violent note when Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police Kafeel Ahmad was killed and three policemen were injured in an encounter on January 7 between security forces and militants in Sopore township of north Kashmir's Baramulla district.
A Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant was also killed in an encounter in Beighpora area of Awantipora town in Pulwama district of south Kashmir, the same day. Six days later, on January 13, a 'divisional commander' of Jaish-e-Mujhahideen was among three foreign militants killed in an encounter in Dooru village in the foothills of Cherhar forests in Sopore.
By the end of the first month, seven militants were killed in encounters at different places in the state. The number went slightly up in the next month, when 11 militants, including seven LeT militants in Lolab forests of Kupwara district. While no security personnel were killed in militancy-related violence, February saw the killing of a youth in Sopore town.
The year also saw militants employing the same strategy as in 2013 - maximum effect with minimum impact on general public.
Militants would often carry out surprise attacks by targeting security personnel from point-blank range and before fleeing, decamped with their service weapons. The army described the strategy as the fall-out of the robust counter-infiltration grid on the Line of Control (LoC).
"The robust counter-infiltration grid that is in place at the LoC has made it almost impermeable for the terrorists to carry weaponry. That is why they were resorting to hit and run attacks on the security forces and then decamped with their weapons," Corps Commander of the Srinagar-based Chinar Corps, Lt Gen Subrata Saha said.