In a puzzling turn of events, Indian authorities have arrested a pigeon on the suspicion of spying for the Pakistani government. The dubious bird is believed to have landed on the terrace of a barber’s home in the village of Manwal, four kilometers away from the India-Pakistan border.
The barber’s 14-year-old son noticed an Urdu message printed on its feathers that read: ‘Tehsil Shakargarh, district Narowal’, along with a series of numbers. The boy immediately turned the pigeon over to the police, asking them to investigate its appearance.
Intrigued by the message and by a wire-like object found on its body, officers rushed the bird to a veterinary hospital in the town of Pathankot for inspection. X-Ray reports did not reveal anything abnormal, but the police said that they plan to detain the bird until they find out more. They do have a hunch that the digits in the message may be a telephone number in Pakistan’s Narowal district and the tension was further intensified by the fact that the bird made an appearance during a top-secret inter-state security conference in India. So the bird was listed in police records as a “suspected spy”.
|The pigeon was discovered 2.48 miles from the Pakistani-Indian border in the village of Manwal|
The bird was X-rayed by police officers and has since been detained for further investigation
The bird was found with a message in Urdu and a Pakistani telephone number stamped onto its body
“This is a rare instance of a bird from Pakistan being spotted here,” the police superintendent told the media. “We have caught a few spies here. The area is sensitive, given its proximity to Jammu, where infiltration is quite common.”
As bizarre as the case sounds, this isn’t the first time a bird has been arrested. In 2008, Iranian authorities arrested two pigeons for spying on a nuclear facility, and a stork was taken into custody in Egypt a couple of years ago for having a mysterious device attached to its feathers. Islamic State militants are reported to have captured at least a dozen pigeon breeders in Iraq, earlier this year, to prevent being spied on by their birds.