A pigeon allegedly bearing a stamped message with a wire-like object on its body made Indian authorities question its flight into the village of Pathankot in Punjab.
According to reports, the bird landed on the mud brick house of Ramesh Chandra, a barber, in Manwal village, 4 kilometres from Pakistan's border.
Suspicions were aroused by the Urdu markings which were reported to the nearest police station by Chandra's son.
His arrival there with the bird perched on a wire mesh along with Chandra's chicken created a stir.
A part of the message was in Urdu, but the numbers appeared to be that of a landline telephone in Pakistan's Narowal district.
"Unfortunately, mobile phones rarely work in the border areas. My son ran to the nearest police post," Chandra said.
The bird was then taken to a veterinary hospital in Pathankot for an X-ray which did not reveal any clues.
"Nothing adverse has been found, but we have kept the bird in our custody," said Pathankot senior superintendent of police (SSP) Rakesh Kaushal.
"This is a rare instance of a bird from Pakistan being spotted here. We have caught a few spies here. The area is sensitive, given its proximity to Jammu," said Kaushal.
A diary entry was made at Bamiyal police station terming the bird as a "suspected spy", after which it was communicated to BSF and IB.
The bird was found on a day when an inter-state meeting on security was being held among officials of Punjab Police, Indian Army as well as those from Kathua and Jammu districts.
This article originally appeared on Times of India