The headquarters of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha(SKM) at Singhu Border wore a deserted look on Saturday as the farmers protesting the Centre’s farm laws began their journey home following a successful culmination of their year-long sit-in. The SKM HQ, housed in a godown of tiles along the highway blockaded by the protesting farmers in Haryana’s Kundli, served as a nerve centre for their movement, hosting countless meetings and press conferences.
The iron gate of the humble structure where SKM volunteers used to screen visitors was opened in complete silence in the morning, with the farmers busy dismantling their tents and other structures and packing their things up.
Inside, Baliram, who is in his early 60s, was having an early lunch. He worked as a watchman at the godown.
“This place used to see so much activity with all the farmer leaders having meetings here and discussing things everyday. Now see I am the only person here,” the man from Begusarai in Bihar said.
The leaders of farm unions from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh held their crucial meetings, including the one on last Thursday in which they announced to suspend their protest and leave the highway, at the SKM headquarters.
The SKM, an umbrella body of 40 farm unions, was born out of the anti-farm law protests against the Centre over their demands for repeal of the three legislations and legal guarantee of MSP on crops among others.
In their last meeting here, SKM leaders decided to suspend the protest following repeal of the farm laws by the Centre.
The SKM has also accepted the government’s assurances to their demands concerning the legal guarantee of MSP of crops, compensation to the kin of farmers who died during the protest and withdrawal of cases registered against farmers during the year-long protest.
Farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, started protesting at Delhi border points from November 26 last year against the three laws.