A pet pigeon arrested by Indian police on suspicion of spying for Pakistan has been set free after spending almost a week in custody.
The pink painted bird carrying a “coded message,” attached to its foot was alleged to have flown from across the border that separates Indian and Pakistan-controlled parts of Kashmir, according to Pakistani media.
The outlet said the animal was released by police after a Pakistani man Habibullah, called on the Indian Government to release his pigeon.
He alleged that the numbers on a small ring tied around the bird’s leg disputed to be a coded message, were his telephone numbers.
Mr Habibullah, who lives just three miles from the long-disputed border and owns several pigeons, claimed he released his birds as a symbol of peace to mark Eid.
Villagers living close to the border in Manyari turned the pigeon over to authorities after catching it along the border, Sky News reported.
He had called on Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister, to return the pigeon, and told the Pakistani newspaper Dawn that India should “refrain from victimising innocent birds”, amid outrage.
Geeta Devi, a resident of the Kathua district of Indian-administered Kashmir, insisted that the bird flew into her home Sunday night.
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