Pigeon Kabootar Uddan Flyby DHARMENDRA RATAUL, HARMEET SHAH SINGH, et al
Editor: The following is a real story - it is still unfolding in India, even as you read on ...
Pigeon kabootar, uddan fly
Look wekho, asmaan sky
[Old Punjabi rhyme used to teach English]
The hostilities between India and Pakistan - the two nations that have fought three vicious wars in recent decades and are perennially on the verge of obliterating each other with their respective nuclear arsenals - have taken a turn for the worse.
An unmanned flying and spying mission - no, it isn't an RQ-4A Global Hawk; neither is it a Predator nor a DARPA Vulture - has been intercepted by ever-vigilant Indians! It is something far more advanced, secretive, menacing and vicious than anything in even the American collection of ultra-modern weaponry and technical wizardry!
It's a kabootar. A pigeon.
[Scary, isn't it?]
It's the latest threat to India, says its high-level Military Intelligence. The nation is in a kerfuffle ... and understandaby so. Lord knows what those Pakistanis have up their sleeves this time!
None of this is just conjecture.
Indian Police Intelligence is currently holding a pigeon under armed guard after it was caught on an alleged spying mission for arch rival and neighbour, Pakistan, media reported on Friday, May 28, 2010.
The white-colored bird - it is not clear whether it is its natural hue or whether it was in disguise - had to spend time at an Indian police station along the country's sensitive border with Pakistan as speculation grew it could be a spy on a mission from the neighboring nation.
Officers say the pigeon was captured by residents of a border town.
They found it "peculiar", said district police chief Chohan.
Description of the pigeon, even in intelligence reports, varies from report to report... probably intentionally; India's intelligence agencies are widely known to often use this strategy to confuse the enemy and the public.
One secret report says that a Pakistani address stamped on its wings is what worried the village residents last week. They then brought the bird to the police.
"It was kept at the police station for a day and now we have handed it over to wildlife (authorities)," Chohan said.
"In an era of spy planes and satellites, the ... police have detained a white pigeon that could have been - the police claim - used as a Pakistani spy," wrote the Hindustan Times in a page-one story Saturday.
The Indian Express newspaper carried a picture showing a man holding the pigeon in his palm in front of a lock-up.
Other reports, also high-level confidential, state that the pigeon had a ring around its foot and a Pakistani phone number and address stamped on its body in red ink.
Police officer Ramdas told the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency that they suspected the pigeon may have landed on Indian soil from Pakistan with a message, although no trace of a note has been found.
Officials have directed that no-one should be allowed to visit the pigeon, which police say may have been on a "special mission of spying".
The bird has been medically examined and was being kept in an air-conditioned room under police guard.
Senior officers have asked to be kept updated on the situation three times a day, PTI said.
Ramdas said local pigeon fanciers in the sensitive border area had told police that Pakistani pigeons were easily identifiable as they look different from Indian ones, according to the Indian Express newspaper.
Further police reports - confidential - reveal that the inmate in cell number 2 at Ramdass Police station is identified by a number - 303-628-4620 - written on the back and a stamp which reads: Islamabad-Wazirabad-Pakistan.
This, of course, is being read by senior Indian police brass as a new tactic by the crafty Pakistan intelligence: to clearly identify the secret spy as emanating from Pakistan.
While policemen are busy feeding this winged prisoner, they are also trying to decipher the stamp and the phone number on its feathers. They do not rule out the involvement of the ISI (Pakistani Intelligence Agency) behind the landing of the bird here.
We have obtaining some disturbing pictures of Abdul - the single name by which he has been identified to date by Indian Intelligence. Some images are reproduced here and show him as brash, unrepenting, contemptuous, resourceful ... and a master of disguises!
"We are not ruling out anything and we are in the process to decode the writing on its back. It could be a messenger of peace also as the bird is often known as. I have informed the state police headquarters," said the Senior Superintendent of Police, adding that they had engaged a pigeon lover from the area who had identified its breed as Pakistani.
The photo taken from a training camp deep within Pakistani territory also suggests that some of these pigeon spies may be Taliban members, as clearly identified by their feathers.
A police officer confirmed that the pigeon Abdul was brought to him by villagers. "I immediately informed my seniors and they told me to keep the bird in jail," he said, adding that they were feeding the bird properly and its medical examination was also conducted.
Scary, isn't it? If not countered with swiftly and firmly, this could potentially lead to the very destruction of Indian civilization as we know it.
[from Reports by CNN, Hindustan Times, Press Trust of India, Indian Express, etc. Really! Scout's Honour!]
June 2, 2010
Conversation about this article
1: Harsimran Singh (Union City, California, United States), June 02, 2010, 9:49 AM.
India so often gets criticized for its paranoid government, intelligence agencies, and police force. Yet we never really look at how Pakistan's ISI, in conjunction with its government and military, has fomented Jihadi terrorism not only against India, but against the world. I'm not saying that there is nothing wrong with India, but let us at least hold both sides to the same standards.
2: Jessie Kaur (New Jersey, U.S.A.), June 02, 2010, 9:57 AM.
What you say is correct, Harsimran Singh ji. But the very existence of Sikhi in India TODAY is not being threatened by Pakistani jihadists. Our focus is, and needs to be, on the Indian and Hindu jihadists who murdered tens of thousands of innocent Sikhs in 1984 and the years that followed, and on the jihadist governments in India which today suicidally and narrow-mindedly continue to pursue Sikhs everywhere. Let's not turn into patriotic Indians while Indians consider it patriotic to wipe us out ... or, at the very least, drag us back into the hinduization puddle. Let's start thinking things out a bit, before we turn to our hearts.
3: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), June 02, 2010, 11:40 AM.
What a delight to hear this long forgotten favourite Punjabi rhyme that as a child I repeated ad nauseam. I might now add to this delightful fund another real example: In Lyallpur (Pakistan), now named Faizlabad' - which I had renamed for private use as 'Fazulabad' or as 'Useless-bad' - there was a teacher who translated every English line into Urdu or Punjabi for example: 'Come here' - 'Edhar Ao-oh' or 'Go there' - Odhur Ja-oo', etc. He also had the habit of addressing everyone as 'Baccha' - child - as a 'takkia kalaam'. Some one asked him why he always translated English into Punjabi or Urdu. His habitual answer was: 'This is my habit' - 'Yeh meri aadat hai!'
4: Harsimran Singh (Union City, California, U.S.A.), June 02, 2010, 7:58 PM.
Jessie Kaur, you are right that Sikhs have faced a threat from Indian security forces. But I really don't see any existential threats against the Sikhs from the Indian government today. Yes, there are social and economic problems in Punjab, but these are problems that we as Punjabis and/or Sikhs must deal with. I don't think we should scapegoat the Indian government. Overall, I see Sikhs as relatively free to exercise their religion in India. Also, other than some extremist elements, I don't think Indians in general would consider it "patriotic" to wipe out our faith. In fact, the Indian media, at least from what I have seen in the past decade, has cried hoarse over the Delhi and Gujarat pogroms.
5: Kulwant Singh (Canada), June 03, 2010, 6:59 AM.
I really hope that Harsimran Singh is saying all this with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek!
6: Kanwarjeet Singh (Franklin Park, New Jersey, U.S.A.), June 18, 2010, 9:17 PM.
Poor Harsimran - its not his fault, he has been reading and listening only to Indian news channels and watching desi films (only is the key word). Harsimran ji, threat does not always come in the form of violence! The Mughals (not all) tried to wipe us out physically and failed, the Brits realized that we could be destroyed physically but not via our faith, so they attacked our faith and failed, the Indian govt tried the same two things and failed, but now the new ploy is called assimilation - wipe out by not wiping out - Sikhs today are so confused - am I a Sikh, is Sikh a Hindu, oh Sikhs were created to save Hindus from evil Muslims (conveniently forgetting the Chandus and the oppressive Hindu Rajas against whom Guru Gobind Singh mostly struggled), Sikhs are duffers as per Indian movies of 90s and Sikhs are brave soldiers as per movies of 2000s, now Rocket Singh has us as super intelligent (although it was a good movie, I must say) and so on ... get the picture? The idea is to assimilate us to make us feel comfortable by giving us alternate identities - Sehajdhari, Nirankari, and every other dhari except Keshadhari. When I say Indian govt., I ask you to include our dear friends BJP, RSS, Akali Dal, Arya Samajis and of course the dearest of them all - Hindu Punjabis. So my friend, please wake up to the new threat(s).
7: S.S. (India), September 28, 2010, 10:47 AM.
That is a racing pigeon which got lost from the owner. The tag on the pigeon is known as a pigeon ring or pigeon band which is used to either identify the club or owner of the bird. The pigeon might have got lost during a training toss.
8: Tanvi Kohli (India), December 03, 2012, 11:33 PM.
Awesome ... excellent.