India: Officials claim Pakistan ‘spy’ pigeon captured

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The bird is accused of carrying a coded message after it was caught by villagers close to the Indian border with Pakistan.

A pigeon suspected of being trained to “spy” by Pakistan has been captured in India along one of the world’s most contested borders, Indian officials said.

They said the bird was carrying a “coded message” and was caught by villagers in Manyari, along the border which separates Indian and Pakistan-controlled parts of Kashmir.

Security agencies are trying to decipher the message, the officials told Indian news agency PTI.

Kathua Police’s senior superintendent Shailendra Mishra said the villagers gave the pigeon to police on Sunday after it flew into a woman’s house from Pakistan.

He said: “A ring was seen attached to one of its legs with some numbers on it and a probe is on.

“We can’t say it was used for spying. Locals, seeing a tag tied with its leg, caught the pigeon.

“Some called it a coded message. In Pakistan’s Punjab, people tie number tags on pigeons to claim ownership.”

Birds have reportedly been used for espionage in the disputed region before.

In 2016, police in Pathankot, in India’s Punjab state, took in a bird that was found near the Pakistan border which had a note attached to it with an alleged threat to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The year before, a bird was seized a few miles from the border after being spotted carrying a “stamped message” on its body, according to local reports.

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