India Detains Pigeon Over Spying Fears – India Real Time – WSJ

Indian authorities detained a pigeon on Thursday on suspicion that it was dispatched from Pakistan to infiltrate the border.

The bird was found in Pathankot, a border town in the north Indian state of Punjab, with an address written in Urdu on its body.

Authorities in the town have scanned the pigeon and are trying to decipher other markings underneath its feathers, said Rakesh Kumar Kaushal, special superintendent of police in the town.

India and Pakistan share a long and disputed border. Officials in India said they had reasons to be suspicious about the bird.

“We are being cautious because this is a border area with military presence,” Mr. Kaushal said. “We have heard that pigeons with cameras on them fly and get an aerial view and no can tell from the ground.”

The white-feathered, gray-flecked pigeon landed on the roof of Ramesh Chand’s house on Wednesday evening. Mr. Chand, a barber, wanted to keep the bird as a pet so he started clipping the feathers on its wings to ensure it wouldn’t fly away, according to Mr. Kaushal.

“That is when he noticed some inscriptions under the left wing and tail,” and brought it in, Mr. Kaushal said.

Mr. Chand could not immediately be reached for comment.

A one-lined stamp on the wing appeared to name an address in the Pakistani city of Shakar Garh, which lies 12 miles west of Mr. Chand’s house in India, where the bird was found.

A “series of numbers” are printed alongside the address but they are not phone numbers, according to Mr. Kaushal.

The markings ruffled feathers. “That is when we talked to different agencies and officers,” he said. “They have come and seen the bird.”

The alleged avian interloper was also sent to two veterinarians to have its cavities inspected. It was also scanned and x-rayed to see if it had been used to transport surveillance devices across the border.

“We found no camera, no chips, no SIM cards,” he said.

Amit Kumar Mittal, the deputy inspector general of police in Pathankot said he suspected the bird was just a racing pigeon.

“So far there is no such case that shows it was a spy,” he said. The bird was being fed and cared for at a local police station in the area, he added.

Still, the numerical code on the bird’s wing along with an Urdu inscription on the tail is under investigation to rule out possibilities of espionage.

“If found to be a spy we will take action,” Mr. Kaushal said without elaborating. “If not, then we will make sure it has a good life.”

via India Detains Pigeon Over Spying Fears – India Real Time – WSJ.

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One Comment to “India Detains Pigeon Over Spying Fears – India Real Time – WSJ”

  1. India Detains Pigeon Over Spying Fears—as stated above. It’s an interesting news!

    So the pigeon has cavities inspected, scanned and x-rayed—ALL CLEAR!

    Also the alleged avian interloper, searched and the authorities found no camera, no chips and no SIM cards…I am really relieved to know this!

    Next, I await for the report on the numerical code on the bird’s along with an Urdu inscription on the tail with fingers crossed!!

    India takes its borders security seriously—I am convinced!

    Like

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