‘Spy pigeon’ detained in India after crossing border from Pakistan


PATHANKOT: A pigeon which crossed the Indo-Pak border into India’s Pathankot area was captured and detained for being a ‘suspected spy’ on Thursday, according to a report published on The Times of India website.

The development comes two days after India’s Intelligence Bureau (IB) issued an alert to the Punjab Police regarding suspected militant activity in the area.

A stamped message and a wire-like object on the ‘intruder’, which landed on a mud-and-brick house in Manwal village situated four kilometers from the Indo-Pak border, raised suspicions of the security agencies in India.

The TOI report said that a part of the message stamped on the bird was in Urdu, while the numbers appeared to be that of a phone in Pakistan’s Narowal district.

The 14-year-old son of the house owner, where the bird had landed, became sceptical upon noticing the markings in Urdu on the bird and rushed it to the nearest police station.

The bird was taken to a veterinary doctor where it underwent an x-ray and medical examination.

“Nothing adverse has been found, but we have kept the bird in our custody,” TOI quoted Pathankot Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Rakesh Kaushal as saying.

“This is a rare instance of a bird from Pakistan being spotted here. We have caught a few spies here. The area is sensitive, given its proximity to Jammu, where infiltration is quite common,” he added.

Although no case has been registered at the Bamiyal police station, an entry was made which termed the bird as a ‘suspected spy’, the details of which were also sent to the Border Security Force and IB.

The incident comes a few month after a similar incident was reported on the Indian side of the Indo-Pak border. Another pigeon had also been detained by Indian authorities in 2011.

No significant development was reported.

In December 2011, a monkey had crossed from India into Pakistan’s Bahawalpur district which was captured by wildlife officials. The monkey was taken to Bahawalpur Zoo, where officials named him Bobby, according to a report on NDTV website.

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