New Delhi: As the protesting farmers' union has called off the agitation after the Union government agreed to their key demands, protesters are dismantling their establishments at protest sites, packing their tents and belongings to return home.
Celebrations went high, marking a historic victory, but many were feeling difficult to leave as they built a bond among the protesters, a communion, through the last 15 months, The Indian Express reports.
After Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) announced the suspension of protests, convoys of tractor trolleys started leaving protest sites at Singhu by Thursday evening. Protester bade tearful farewells and left with memories of the past year.
Ravinder Singh of Charrian village in Punjab's Ropar said that he did not feel going back as he had received so much love from the protest site. The 70-year-old Jasvir Kaur of Khang in Patiala also said she wished not to go home.
A former accountant of age 32, Sukhamani from Morinda in Mohali, said she feels happy that she is returning home but sad to leave others she met in the protest. Everyone has become a family, she said.
Ravinder Singh said that it is the victory of resolve and perseverance of farmers. Though they are leaving, he said that the movement is not over and the fight will continue. Further, he recalled his days at the protesting sights.
He claimed that he was part of the first wave of protest on November 27 last year that reached the Burari ground. He suffered an injury in lathi charge, and police had seized his tractor, he said.
Jasvir Kaur to Singhu last year and didn't expect the agitation to last this long. At first, it was difficult for her to live on roads in extreme weather conditions, but she adapted later. She said that there was fear that Army or paramilitary forces might be deployed during January 26 when a section of protestors stormed Red Fort.
She broke down by saying about farmers who died for the victory. She added that the protesters ensured they did their duty as they fight for their land and their rights is bigger than their hardships. Since February, she has been volunteering at the community kitchen set by her village in Singhu.
Meanwhile, Ajit Pal Singh said he would be the last protestor to leave. He is not even from a farming background and walked for 12 days to reach the agitation grounds. He was an event manager from Jhaj village in Anandpur Sahib District, Punjab. Like many, he didn't expect the agitations to last this long. He spent polishing shoes for months initially and later set up a "massage langar" to help ageing farmers.