New Delhi: A Pakistani man whose pigeon has been held in India on charges of spying has urged PM Narendra Modi to return it. 42-year-old Habibullah has claimed that the alleged spy detained by Indian forces is his pet female pigeon and demanded an apology from the Indian government and media. Also Read - Local Residents Capture Trained 'Spy' Pigeon From Pakistan Along International Border in Kathua

He told the Independent “On Eid day, I let about 12 pigeons, including Golden Madi, fly. All pigeons returned except Golden Madi. I have almost 250 pigeons and have been keeping pigeons for the last 30 years or so. I just want my Golden Madi back so that she can participate in pigeon competition.”

Habibullah further claimed that the code attached to the bird is actually his mobile phone number. He explained the reason saying that owners attach contact numbers to pigeons’ feet so that people could return them.

Calling his pigeon a “symbol of peace”, he told the BBC that India should “refrain from victimizing innocent birds”.

Notably, the pink-painted pigeon was captured by villagers along the International Border (IB) in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir on May 25.

As per the police, the bird had a ring on one of its legs, which contained a coded message, and security agencies have been working to decipher it.

In 2015 too, a similar incident had happened when a pigeon was intercepted in Manwal village of India.