Almost two weeks after arresting a ‘spy’ pigeon that allegedly flew over from Pakistan, Indian forces have clipped the bird’s wings so that it cannot fly back to Pakistan, the Telegraph reported.
“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 Calcutta-based newsaper. “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.”
The pigeon was taken into custody on October 2, after it landed in the Border Security Force’s Simbal post in Pathankot’s Bamial sector with a note addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi tied to its leg. According to what police sources have told reporters, the note read “Modiji, we are not the same as we were in 1971 – Jaish-e-Mohammad”, in Urdu.
The pigeon is now at an animal husbandry hospital, being fed and kept in a cage, the Telegraph reported.
“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,” an officer told the newspaper. Forces are unsure of ‘how the pigeon crossed the border’.
“The only thing we know for sure is that it was a female pigeon and not a male one as assumed earlier,” another official said.
When asked by the Telegraph whether clipping the bird’s wings amounted to cruelty, an 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.”
Animal rights activists did not have the same impression. “They should have released the pigeon since they didn’t find anything suspicious after getting the X-ray done,” the newspaper quoted animal rights activist Gauri Maulekhi as saying. “The mindless act amounts to cruelty to animals. It also shows how stupid as a nation we are becoming.”