Suspected Chinese spy pigeon detained for eight months is FREED after riddle over ‘secret message on its foot’ is solved

Suspected Chinese spy pigeon detained for eight months is FREED after riddle over ‘secret message on its foot’ is solved

A SUSPECTED spy pigeon has finally been freed after eight months in an Indian prison.

The alleged operative roused suspicion when it was found near a port in Mumbai in May – with two rings bearing a message that “looked like Chinese” tied to its legs.

APA pigeon that was arrested on espionage beliefs has finally been freed[/caption]

Police suspected the pigeon was spying on behalf of the Chinese government and took it into custody, before sending it to Mumbai’s animal hospital.

After an eight-month-long investigation, detectives revealed that the riddle on the bird’s foot wasn’t Chinese at all.

It has since emerged that the poor pigeon was actually an open-water racing bird from Taiwan that had escaped and flown into India.

Indian police immediately transferred the falsely accused avian to the Bombay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to animals, who have since released it back into the wild.

The Mumbai police could not be reached for comment.

It’s also not the first time that the Indian police have had to deal with “spy” pigeons.

Just a few months prior to this ordeal, in March, two suspected spy pigeons were caught in the eastern Odisha state.

One of the pigeons was found aboard a fishing boat with devices – thought to be a camera and a microchip – fitted to its leg.

Both birds are still being investigated.

In 2020 a pigeon was accused of being a Pakistani spy when it was captured along the border between Indian- and Pakistani– controlled parts of Kashmir.

The suspected spy had been painted pink and was carrying around on its foot a ring with numbers on.

At the time, senior Superintendent of Kathua Police, Shailendra Kumar Mishra told local media that the coded ring was cause for concern.

He said that, while birds have no boundaries and often fly across international borders, migratory birds tend not to have rings tethered to them.

In 2016, a pigeon was taken into custody after it was found flying bearing a threatening note to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The bird was found in the northern state of Punjab, where there had been deadly clashes between Pakistani and Indian militants.

The note was written in Urdu, saying “Modi, we’re not the same people from 1971. Now, each and every child is ready to fight against India”.

And, in 2015 another pigeon was intercepted, this time in Manwal village two and a half miles from the border.

One officer told NDTV: “This is a sensitive area as it is just along International Border.

“Infiltration is also quite common along this route.”

Tensions between India’s neighbours have reached a boiling point, with clashes alongside the Indian-Pakistani border, and the Indian-Chinese border, becoming increasingly more common.


May 2023

The suspected spy pigeon was captured near a port in Mumbai

The writing on the rings on its legs were presumed to be Chinese, and a lengthy investigation begins

June 2023

The pigeon is sent to Mumbai’s animal hospital, as the investigation continues

January 2024

It emerges that the Chinese writing isn’t actually Chinese at all

The pigeon is sent to a society in Bombay that prevents animal cruelty

February 2024

The suspected spy pigeon is cleared of all charges and set free

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