Indian police have seized more than 150 pigeons in held Kashmir allegedly smuggled for the purpose of espionage, reported Times of India on Sunday.

The pigeons were found in the possession of three people in India-held Kashmir on Oct 5. The three men were booked under Section 144 of the Cruelty to Animals Act and the pigeons were handed over to a non-governmental organisation called Save Animals Value Environment (SAVE).

The seized pigeons were found with "some rings in their claws and special magnetic rings attached to them", which raised suspicions of authorities, SAVE's Namrata Hakhoo told ToI.

The SAVE chairman wrote to a Jammu deputy commissioner who ordered an enquiry into whether the pigeons were being used in spying activities.

The detention or seizure of pigeons suspected of being used to spy is not a rare occurrence in India

In May 2010, Indian police arrested a 'spy' pigeon in Amritsar as it had a ring around its foot and a Pakistani phone number and address stamped on its body in red ink.

Earlier in May last year another 'spy' pigeon was nabbed by villagers in the Bamial sector of Pathankot, a few kilometres away from the Pakistan border.

The bird had ‘Shakargarh’ and ‘Narowal’ written on its body in English, along with some numbers and words in Urdu.

Earlier this month, the Indian Border Security Force arrested another suspected spy pigeon from border area of Pathankot which carried a note in Urdu saying something like 'Modi, we're not the same people from 1971. Now each and every child is ready to fight against India.'