Chinese "spy pigeon" suspect detained for 8 months, now released

The veterinary hospital that had custody released it after a "no objection" from the police

Suspected Chinese spy pigeon being released by hospital staff (photo: @LennyBusker3/X)
Suspected Chinese spy pigeon being released by hospital staff (photo: @LennyBusker3/X)
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PTI

A pigeon, suspected to have been used by the Chinese for spying and kept in the custody of a veterinary hospital in Mumbai after being caught eight months back, has been released—so a police official said on Wednesday, 31 January.

The Bai Sakarbai Dinshaw Petit Hospital for Animals in Mumbai's Parel area sought the police's permission on Monday, 29 January, to release the bird. It was then freed on Tuesday, 30 January, an official from the RCF (Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers) police station said.

The pigeon had been caught in May last year at Pir Pau Jetty in suburban Chembur by the RCF police.

The bird had two rings — one of copper and another of aluminium — on its leg and messages written in a Chinese-like script on the underside of both its wings, the police said.

The RCF police registered a case but after the inquiry was completed, the spying charge was dropped, he said.

During the probe into the case, the police found that the pigeon used to take part in racing over the open waters near Taiwan. During one such event, it flew out of the country and landed in India, the official said.

The pigeon was freed by the hospital after the police gave them a "no objection" for its release, he said, adding the bird's medical condition was fine.

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