Ramesh Khatri has lived in Rameshaswamy, a small village in Rajsheswam district for the past five years.
But the village has been under attack from the Maoists for years.
He was the village head and was targeted by them for being a member of the local militia.
“They were using the village as a base,” he says.
“We did not even know what was going on there.”
Khatris village lies near the Maoist-controlled Baghpat, one of the three key areas in the district where Maoists have been holed up in an airbase.
“Our villages are being targeted and attacked by Maoists,” says Khatrik, who is one of about 50 villagers in the village who were attacked in recent weeks.
“Every day we are attacked and our houses are destroyed.”
Khaatri says the Maois used to attack his village when they were in control.
“The village was very isolated and we were the only ones living there,” he explains.
“Now they come in, they come to the village and we are left behind.”
Khatri says he and his family are living under constant threat of attack and that his two daughters are not even allowed to go out in the evening.
“Their mothers are staying in the house.
The village is full of them and they are all coming to the house to kill us.”
According to the Maoism-led Naxalites, Khatras village was part of a joint commando unit known as the “Naxal Battalion” that had been fighting the Maos in the area.
The Maoists claim that the “Maoist commandos” were also in Khatra’s village.
“They are using our village as an outpost and they can’t go out,” says Dusari, the Mao-controlled hamlet where Khatries family resides.
“And they can only use our houses and property.”
The Naxals claim they were targeted for their links to the Khatrin community.
“Nayas (Naxals) have been using our land to set up camps in the forest,” says an Naxali activist who asked not to be identified.
“Khatrik is an Nixal and he is one too.
He is the one who is the commander in chief of the Naxalis.
He has no problem with us.”
Khaatris village was once a Maoist stronghold, but now the Maoistas have taken over the area and have set up their base there.
“When the Maoites arrived, they were not concerned about the Maoys.
They killed all the people and then fled,” says Ram, the farmer.
“There are only about 100 people left in the hamlet, and I don’t know what the situation is like.”
Ram, who has not been able to get back to his village for several months, says he has been given no help by the government in the past few months.
“But now the Nays are coming, and they want to burn everything down,” he claims.
“This is the first time that we have been able get a house built.”
Khattri, too, feels unsafe in his village.
“I don’t think we will get a job,” he admits.
“What I have left is all I have.
My wife is working and we have two children.
I have not had any help for five years.”