While informing the Punjab and Haryana High Court that it has not been able to arrest a fugitive pro-Khalistan preacher, the Punjab government said Amritsar Rural police has issued a “hue and cry notice” against him.

Police issues a ‘hue and cry notice’ when it requires help of public in cases such as:

  1. locating missing persons,
  2. identifying unclaimed bodies,
  3. looking out for a suspect.


  • In policing terms, the phrase traces its origin to 1285 when England’s King Edward I signed the “Statute of Winchester” to deal with security and peacekeeping on a local level by revamping the existing police system.
  • The ‘hue and cry’ rule simply meant that if a suspect or a criminal was running down the street in front of some bystanders, then each of them had to yell to help the police identify and catch them.
  • Police rules in several states, including Punjab, have ‘hue and cry notices’ as a legal procedure in their rulebooks.
  • Hue and cry notice was broadly an English translation of “ishtihar-e-shor-e-goga”, one of the many Urdu phrases which Punjab Police continue to use in its daily procedures after partition in 1947.
  • In current times, Punjab Police issues “ishtihar-e-shor-e-goga” in newspapers in case of missing persons and unidentified bodies.


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