A complaint by the Sikh rights group, Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), on release of former Sikh militants from prison after expiry of their term has been forwarded by the U.N. Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights to the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions.

According to Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, attorney for SFJ, a communiqué from the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights received by them states, “Such cases clearly fall within the mandate of the U.N. Working Group and they will directly work with the rights groups in this case.”

Speaking to The Hindu from New York, Mr. Pannun said that the “Action Alert” initiated by the SFJ and the AISSF on social media asking the Sikh community worldwide to email the U.N. body has led to more than 7,000 complaints so far. The SFJ action was triggered off by the ongoing fast unto death by Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa, a former Sikh militant, since November 14 in a gurdwara near Chandigarh, to secure the release of six prominent Sikh militants, who are lodged in different prisons in India, even after completion of their sentence. Three of the militants whose release is being sought were convicted for the assassination of the former Punjab Chief Minister, Beant Singh.