Dinanagar terror attack: ‘Punjab cops checked on Pak spy pigeon’

“Do not read too much into this. There is nothing like that. The pigeon story is dead,” said Pathankot Senior Superintendent of Police Rakesh Kaushal.

Written by Navjeevan Gopal | Chandiagrh | Published: September 18, 2015 8:30:46 am
The pigeon was caught in a village in the Bamyal sector on the Indian side of the international border.   (Source: Express Photos) The pigeon was caught in a village in the Bamyal sector on the Indian side of the international border. (Source: Express Photos)

This appears to be one of the untold stories of the Punjab Police’s investigations into the Dinanagar terror attack. The man looking after the pigeon — believed to have been used for spying by Pakistan and found on the Indian side of the border on June 2 — claims that two Punjab policemen came knocking on his doors to determine if there was a connection between the bird and the terror attack.

“A day after the Dinanagar terror attack, two officials identifying themselves as counter-intelligence policemen reached my place and said they wanted to see the pigeon. I was not at my place. My father called me up and told me about the policemen; I told my father to let them in. They also clicked photos of the pigeon on their mobile,” said the Pathankot-based bird lover Ramanjeet Singh, who has been handed the the pigeon by police.

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The police, however, downplayed the claims. “Do not read too much into this. There is nothing like that. The pigeon story is dead,” said Pathankot Senior Superintendent of Police Rakesh Kaushal.

Ramanjeet says he is taking no chances. He has clipped the bird’s wings citing the “high-profile” and “sensitive” nature of the case.

This is, however, the second time that the bird’s wings have been clipped. The villager who had first caught the pigeon had clipped her wings, apparently to render her unfit to fly back. Alarm bells rang when Pakistani markings were noticed on the pigeon and police swung into action.

The pigeon had “Shakargarh” and “Narowal” written on its body in English, along with some numbers and words in Urdu. Shakargarh tehsil is a sub-division of Narowal district in Pakistan’s Punjab province close to the border.

This had sparked an intelligence alert. The bird was put through a scan to see if something was hidden in her body. Initially, it was assumed to be a male pigeon, but subsequent “tests” revealed that it was a female pigeon. Bird lover Ramanjeet even went on to arrange for a male companion for her in a enclosure. “I had to clip her wings which had grown. She used to be taken out of the enclosure but couple of days ago, I noticed that she could fly. The brains of such high flying birds are tuned in a manner that they remember their loft. She could have flown and crossed back to Pakistan,” said Ramanjeet, adding that he cannot afford to take any risks given the “importance” attached to the bird.

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