NewsIndian authorities release pigeon held on espionage suspicions after 8-month-long investigation

Indian authorities release pigeon held on espionage suspicions after 8‑month-long investigation

The pigeon suspected of espionage in India has regained freedom.
The pigeon suspected of espionage in India has regained freedom.
Images source: © Getty Images | Hindustan Times
9:11 AM EST, February 2, 2024

The Press Trust of India news agency reported the liberation of the innocent animal. Initially, it was feared that the bird could be part of a sinister scheme. The pigeon had two rings on its legs, bearing inscriptions that appeared to be Chinese at first glance.

This led to allegations of the pigeon being a Chinese spy and its consequent captivity. After the bird had spent many weeks at the Bai Sakarbai Dinshaw Petit animal center in the Parel district, the facility inquired with the police if the suspicions had been dismissed and if the bird, who had spent all that time unable to practice flying, could regain its freedom.

The Press Trust of India conveys that the local police transferred the pigeon to the Bombay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. After veterinary specialists rechecked its health status, it was determined that the bird could resume its freedom after eight months of captivity.

Eventually, it was discovered that the rings worn by the bird were identifiers from Taiwan. The bird was a racing pigeon that, for undetermined reasons, had lost its way and ended up in a coastal area. It remains uncertain if the pigeon will regain its former physical condition for race eligibility.

Pigeon cleared of spying allegations by Indian police

"The Guardian" comments that this isn't the first instance of a bird being suspected of foul play by Indian police. In 2020, a pigeon, owned by a Pakistani fisherman, was released after being absolved of charges. The pigeon was under investigation after it crossed the heavily fortified border between two nuclear-powered nations.

In another incident in 2016, India was rocked by an aviary scandal when a pigeon was found in the country with a note strapped to its leg, issuing threats against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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