Pigeon accused of spying after 'being trained to carry secret codes over border'

A pigeon is being held by authorities in India after being charged with espionage for Pakistan.

Officials in Kathua district in India-administered Kashmir claim that the James Bond of birds had flown over the border using a secret code.

Geeta Devi, a woman living in Kathua, said the bird – painted bright pink and tagged with a ring on its foot – flew into her house on Sunday evening.

She reported the bizarre animal to the Indian Border Security Force who passed the pigeon to the police.

After an investigation, police claimed the bird was a “Pakistani suspect spy.”

Officials said the bird had flown over the border and they are now trying to decipher the message.

“The pigeon, believed to have been trained for espionage in Pakistan, has a ring with letters and numbers on it,” a police source told the Times of India.

“Although birds have no borders and many fly across international borders during migration, an encoded ring placed on the body of the captured pigeon is a cause for concern, as migratory birds do not have such rings.”



This is not the first time that India has accused Pakistan of using pigeons to convey secret messages in the ongoing tensions between the two neighbors.

In 2015, the Indian authorities caught a bird that had crossed the border and discovered that a message was written on the feathers in Urdu – the national language of Pakistan.

The bird was even X-rayed as part of the investigation before being registered as a “suspected spy” by the police.



Pigeon

According to authorities in Kathua, birds are often used to send secret messages across the border, as they do not usually arouse suspicion.

But this latest feathered suspect remains locked up in the police station until the investigation is completed.

Kashmir has long been a flashpoint of tensions between India and Pakistan since the partition of India in 1947 when the British left created the countries of Pakistan and Bangladesh.

An estimated 2 million people were said to have died in a brutal war, while around 14 million people were driven from their homes.



Kashmir

In February last year, the biggest flash point in Kashmir was in decades when India launched major air strikes on Pakistani “terror camps”.

There was serious fear of war after the Pakistani Air Force shot down two Indian jet fighters after crossing the border between Kashmir registered by India and Pakistan.

For several days, troops from India and Pakistan exchanged gunfire across the border, causing the greatest tensions between the two nuclear powers since 1971.

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