A man launched a rocket stuffed with birds during a political protest.
Two birds died, some flew away with party flags tied to their necks and others were scorched or injured after being packed into a firecracker and attached to the explosive, which was set off at the rally in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh in south-east India.
Leaked video footage has shocked the public, although some birds escaped milliseconds before the rocket exploded mid-air.
Inspector Prasada Rao said to local media: ''We are studying the video footage.
''The culprits who put the two pigeons in cones will be soon arrested.''