In what could turn out to be a major threat to national security, an alleged Pakistani spy escaped Indian custody and fled back to our neighbouring country today. The head constable in Rajasthan’s Sriganganagar district – where the suspect was being held since he was caught earlier this week – opened the cage of the captive, a pigeon, “out of curiosity,” Indian Express reported, and before he knew it, it was gone in a grey blur.
The police have informed intelligence agencies of the blunder but there isn’t much hope of catching the spy again – after all, millions of grey pigeons flap their way over the Line of Control every day. If it weren’t for the “5547 Janbaz Khan” tag and a note with a phone number written on it, the Rajasthan police probably wouldn’t have realised the danger this pigeon posed anyway. The two hours they spent trying to nab him all amounted to nothing in the end.
The Rajasthan and Punjab police still remain the only forces who are working round the clock to tackle this aerial threat to the sovereignty of our nation – it is unclear whether this is because it’s only state facing this menace or they’re the only ones who can see past the cooey, bird-brained facade pigeons put on. Just last October, they intercepted a pigeon that flew into Indian territory with a piece of paper attached to it that read, “Modi, we’re not the same people from 1971. Now each and every child is ready to fight against India.”
And another one had its wings clipped after police caught it. An act which was criticised by animal rights activist Gauri Maulekhi who said, “They should have released the pigeon since they didn’t find anything suspicious after getting the X-ray done,” the Telegraph reported. She’d added, “The mindless act amounts to cruelty to animals. It also shows how stupid as a nation we are becoming.”
Perhaps the police took such comments to heart and decided not to inflict cruelty on this one, because little else could explain their departure from the strict protocol that is followed whenever an aerial threat is caught. The captive is scanned and x-rayed for devices, checked, wings clipped (a policeman told the Telegraph this is not cruel since they grow back rapidly) and incarcerated until proven innocent – though it is difficult to determine how that takes place.
This copy was edited on February 14, 2017 to reflect the fact that Sriganganagar is in Rajasthan, not Punjab.