The last few months of 2018 registered a slight increase in the number of gun battles between militants and government forces besides stepped up search and cordon operations in the north Kashmir district.
Eight gunfights, including one on the Line of Control (LoC) in Gurez, raged between militants and government forces in the district this year, leaving combatants dead on both sides.
However, the government forces still consider the ground situation in Bandipora district as "not so volatile".
Four gunfights occurred in Hajin town alone in the month of February, March, and August while cordon and search operations were conducted frequently in several localities of the volatile town.
On February 22, a soldier was killed during an encounter with militants who managed to escape from the site in Paribal area of Hajin.
Four days later, on February 26, one militant was killed fighting government forces in Bon Mohalla area of Hajin after government forces laid to siege to the village following intelligence about the presence of militants in the area.
A few days later, on March 1, another gunfight took place in Shukurdin Mohalla of the town leaving one militant dead.
Again, on August 30 a firefight raged in Par Mohalla locality of Hajin in which soldiers killed three militants.
Several gunfights also took place in the forested areas of Bandipora, including one on the Line of Control in remote Gurez area of the northern Kashmir district.
On June 9, a fierce gunfight raged in the dense forests of Panar village. Militants and forces exchanged fire at least on five occasions but each time the rebels managed to escape.
However, the government forces continued the operation for about a week in the dense forests, and on June 14 two militants and a solider were killed.
On August 7, four soldiers including an army Major and two militants were killed in a gunfight after army intercepted a group trying to infiltrate from Pakistan-administered Kashmir into the Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC) in Bagtore area of Gurez.
Three militants and a soldier were killed of September 1 during a five-day long operation in Danna forest area of Chandaji.
A few days before the gunfight, army had claimed to have busted a militant hideout and recovered arms and ammunition from the same forested area.
Again on September 21, five militants were killed in Shokbaba area of Sumlar village during a two-day gunfight between militants and the government forces.
The year also saw a slight increase in the number of cordon and search operations in several localities of Bandipora including Gamroo, Gundpora, Lankrishipora, Watapora, Onagam, Doban, Saderkoot Bala and Kunan but no militants were found during the counterinsurgency operations.
Police however said, the CASOs were meant for area domination only.
"As such, there was not much movement of militant in these areas. The search operations were being launched only for the area domination," said a senior police official of the district.