India has released a pigeon which had been imprisoned for eight months on suspicion of espionage, the animal having finally been cleared, we learned on Friday from the animal rights organization Peta.

The bird was intercepted in May carrying an “illegible message” and placed in detention in a veterinary clinic in Bombay (west), before being released on January 30 by the police, this source said.

According to the Times of India daily, the message was written in Chinese, which alarmed investigators.

“The police had opened a procedure for espionage against the bird, but closed the file at the end of their investigation,” states the newspaper. AFP was unable to obtain official confirmation.

Arrests of homing pigeons for espionage are not uncommon in India. In 2016, one of them was imprisoned after being intercepted near the Pakistani border, carrying a message

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