The pigeon, painted pink, was captured Sunday by villagers in Manyari, located near the international border that separates Indian and Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, the Times of India reported.
While it is unclear where the bird came from, it is reportedly believed the bird flew from across the border in Pakistan.
“The pigeon, suspected to be trained in Pakistan for spying, has a ring with alphabets and numbers written on it,” a police source told the paper. “Though birds have no boundaries, and many fly across international borders during migration, a coded ring tagged to the captured pigeon’s body is a cause for concern as migratory birds don’t have such things.”
Kathua Police’s senior superintendent Shailendra Mishra said it was unclear whether the bird was intended to spy, noting that people in Pakistan tie number tags on pigeons to claim ownership, according to Sky News. He said an investigation was underway.
There have been previous reports of birds carrying suspected secret messages across the border into India.
Indian authorities captured a bird in 2015 that was found to have a message written in Urdu, the national language of Pakistan, on its wings, the Telegraph reported.
n 2016, a bird with a note that allegedly threatened Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was found at the Pakistan border and taken by police, according to Sky News.
The Times of India said that pigeons and even balloons sometimes carry coded messages across the border as a type of “psychological operation.”