On February 14, a Jaish-e-Mohammad militant drove a car packed with explosives into a convoy of the Central Reserve Police Force passing through Pulwama district in South Kashmir. By evening, the toll in the attack was reported to have touched 40. This makes it the second most deadly attack in history of the paramilitary force.
With Thursday’s attack, the Central Reserve Police Force in Kashmir has lost more men in 2019 than in four years put together.
In 2010, 76 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force were killed in a Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh. The same year saw a second deadly attack on the paramilitary force in the same state, with at least 26 jawans killed. The next deadly attack would also occur in Chhattisgarh in 2017, when at least 26 Central Reserve Police Force men were killed. Losses dipped to nine in 2015, only to rise again.
Ten states continue to remain affected by Maoist militancy, with Chhattisgarh accounting for the bulk of the casualties. But as Kashmir was swept up by mass protests and renewed militancy, the paramilitary force lost 11 men in 2016 and 12 in 2017. The year 2017 closed on a grim note, as Jaish militants attacked a Central Reserve Police Force training in Lethpora, not far from where Thursday’s tragedy took place. Five paramilitary personnel and three militants were killed in the attack.
Losses were lower in 2018. Despite regular anti-militancy operations, four men from the force were killed till July that year.
Overall, the number of security personnel killed in militancy in the North East and the Maoist insurgency has shown a downward trend since 2014. But in Jammu and Kashmir, the casualties have gone up from 47 in 2014 to 91 in 2018, according to government figures released on February 5.