Indian authorities have intercepted a suspected "spy" pigeon and clipped its wings to prevent it from returning to Pakistan.
The bird was "arrested" earlier in the month after a note addressed to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was found tied to its foot.
The note, written in Urdu, read "Modiji, we are not the same as we were in 1971 - Jaish-e-Mohammad", according to a police source.
"The wings of the pigeon have been clipped to ensure the suspected spy does not fly back to Pakistan," a senior Punjab police official told The Telegraph India.
"We have sent a preliminary report to the Union home ministry, including an X-ray report of the bird which did not reveal anything suspicious."
Police sources said while they could not be sure the bird had come from Pakistan, its wings were clipped last week with the help of a veterinary worker as they “didn’t want to take a chance”.
The bird has been put in a cage and is being fed, according to reports.
“We don't know how long the pigeon will stay in the police station. Residents are flocking to the police station to see the intruder," a Bamial police source said.
"The only thing we know for sure is that it was a female pigeon and not a male one as assumed earlier.”
However, animal activists have said clipping the birds wings amounts to cruelty.
"They should have released the pigeon since they didn't find anything suspicious after getting the X-ray done," said Delhi-based animal rights activist Gauri Maulekhi.
"The mindless act amounts to cruelty to animals. It also shows how stupid as a nation we are becoming."
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However a police officer said: "It's not cruelty. Clipped wings grow fast and the pigeon will be able to fly soon. It's hale and hearty as it is being fed well."
This is not the first time a ‘spy’ bird has been captured by Indian authorities.
"Both countries have always accused each other of spying," a senior IPS officer at North Block said, "but things are now getting farcical."
- More about:
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi
- Union home ministry
- Gauri Maulekhi
- North Block