Pigeon With Tag, Pink Patch That Triggered "Pak Spy" Alarm, Released 

Police officials say the pigeon, which a Pakistani villager claims is his pet bird, was released after nothing suspicious was found.

Pigeon With Tag, Pink Patch That Triggered 'Pak Spy' Alarm, Released

Sources say the pigeon was released from the same spot where it was found.

New Delhi:

A pigeon with a prominent pink patch and a tag on its leg, that had triggered a 'Pakistan suspected spy' alarm when it was found in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua district last Sunday, has been released. Police officials say the pigeon, which a Pakistani villager claims is his pet bird, was released after nothing suspicious was found.

"The pigeon was set free on Thursday after nothing suspicious was found," Shailendra Mishra, a senior police official in Jammu and Kashmir, told Reuters.

Sources say the pigeon was released from the same spot where it was found.

Habibullah, the alleged Pakistani owner of the pigeon, had told Reuters on Friday, that "it's just an innocent bird", and urged India to release it. It is not clear yet if the pigeon returned to its alleged owner.

The Pakistani man had also rejected allegations that the numbers inscribed on a ring on the pigeon's leg were codes meant for terrorists operating in Kashmir. Habibullah, who lives in a village near the border, told Reuters the pigeon had participated in a pigeon racing contest and the digits on the bird's leg were his mobile phone number.

According to police records, the pigeon had flown into the house of one Geeta Devi in Chadwal area near the International Border at about 7 pm last Sunday. On closer inspection, she noticed a ring on one of the legs of the pigeon.

The pigeon was handed over to the Border Security Force (BSF) which in turn handed the bird to the local police in Hira Nagar Police Station.

In the past such birds have been intercepted with messages sent from Pakistan.

"This is a sensitive area as it is just along International Border. Infiltration is also quite common along this route," an officer said.

According to him, birds are used by people from across the border to send messages. "Birds are normally not suspected. They do their work without sounding out an alarm also," he had added.

With inputs from Reuters