The police in India have arrested a pigeon on suspicion that it is a trained spy for Pakistan.
Indian officials said that the pink painted bird carrying a “coded
message,” attached to its foot was alleged to have flown from across the
border that separates Indian and Pakistan-controlled parts of Kashmir,
according to reports.
Villagers living close to the border in Manyari turned the pigeon over
to authorities after catching it along the border, Sky News reported.
Geeta Devi, a resident of the Kathua district of Indian-administered
Kashmir, reported that the bird flew into her home Sunday night. Police
logged the animal as a “Pak Suspected Spy” and launched an investigation
to decipher the message, the outlet reported.
“We don’t know where the bird has come from. Locals on our side captured
it near our fence,” Kathua police’s senior superintendent Shailendra
Mishra told the Times of India.
“The pigeon, suspected to be trained in Pakistan for spying, has a ring
with letters and numbers written on it,” a police source said.
“Though birds have no boundaries and many fly across international
borders during migration, a coded ring tagged to the captured pigeon’s
body is a cause of concern as migratory birds have no such rings,” the
However, in an update, a Pakistani villager has urged Indian Prime
Minister Narendra Modi to return his pigeon, currently being held in
India on charges of spying.
The man identified as Habibullah, who lives just 4km (2.5 miles) from
the border, said he flew his pigeons to celebrate Eid festival.
This is not the first time birds have reportedly been used for espionage in the disputed territory in the past.
In 2016, the Indian police arrested a pigeon that was found carrying a
warning note to Prime Minister Narendra Modi near the nation’s heavily
militarized border with Pakistan.
In 2013, Indian security forces found a dead falcon fitted with a small
camera, and in 2010 another pigeon was detained over spying fears