Australian Film-Maker Stopped by Police in Koodankulam

Amid conflicting reports about detention of Australian Film-maker David Bradbury in Koodankulam, we are posting below the updates as we receive them. After deportation of a German tourist and 3 Japanese activists, this is yet another move of stifling democracy by the Government which must be condemned in strongest terms.


October 26

7.00 am



October 25

8.30 pm




October 25

7.00 pm


David and his family were detained, interrogated and reportedly released by the police yesterday. However, they have been unreachable, and their whereabouts are not yet known. Their Indian cellphone number is also unreachable. Reporters who spoke to the police said that the police insisted that they were not arrested, and merely asked to leave the district.

They were stopped at Thomas Mandapam, and taken to Radhapuram Police Station and subsequently released. He was on a business visa. A policeman from Radhapuram PS said idinthakarai was off-limits because Section 144 had been declared there. Chennai too has had Section 144 since time immemorial. next time bill gates visits chennai, I’ll make sure I’ll tip the police off.

Australia’s best-known documentary film-maker, David Bradbury, was prevented by the Tamil Nadu Police from entering Idinthakarai. It is reported that he was stopped at Thomas Mandapam, a few kilometers before Idinthakarai, by the police and taken to Radhapuram Police Station. The detention is likely to have international ramifications given the stature of Bradbury as a film-maker “who will go to any length” to do a film about a cause he believes in.

Bradbury’s profile can be viewed at:


Email from Lalita Ramdas
(8 pm)

Dear Friends,

Thought I would forward this message to you folks as well.

The last news we received was from our friends in koodankulam to say that David had indeed been detained by the police, but when media started getting interested, he was actually released. And in fact had not been allowed to go to koodankulam.

we have no news as to where this had happened – and whether his wife and child were with him at the time.

I have just spoken to Mr Arun Srivastava who has circulated this letter and he has no news at all till a short while ago. I also tried calling David’s wife, Treena’s phone number – but I am getting a strange set of sounds and nothing more.

Meanwhile, Arun says this will be all over the media in Australia and elsewhere tomorrow – which is by no means a bad idea. I would still like to know if David and his family are safe.

Both of us had met him last year – and he had filmed interviews with us as well.



Email from Arun Shrivastava (4 pm)

Dear Friends,


‘Unconfirmed reports’ say that David Bradbury, the Australian documentary maker, has been arrested in Kudankulum Nuclear Power Plant area.

I received a phone call from a common friend where David, his wife and their two year old son Omar were staying while in Delhi. We were to go to Narora NPP, near Delhi, to talk to the villagers and doctors, a plan that did not materialise. Later I heard that David’s gone South.

We don’t know who made the arrest and the charges. Kudankulum area has been garrisoned.However, to recap, over 55,000 opponents have been charged for various anti-national activities for opposing KNPP. Those opposing KNPP have been charged under sedition laws. If David has been arrested for anti-national activity here, we have a serious problem on hand.

I normally give my visiting friends from abroad a local mobile phone and our common friend had also given him a local mobile phone.

Please note that David has made many documentaries opposing the Nuclear establishment in Australia and elsewhere in the world. David also made a documentary of Wilfred Burchett for reporting from Hiroshima and subsequently on Burchett’s reporting from behind the iron curtain including Vietnam. He has nine awards to his credit.

Please send SMS to give them encouragement.

I am most worried about David’s little boy Omar. He is just over two. The Indian Police can be most insensitive and brutal because this Indian Government is totally addicted to nuclear power.

I am trying to find out where he has been arrested, what are the charges and where is he lodged.

The sms is being responded in cryptic language, so we don’t know what kind of trouble they are in.


I shall keep you all posted as information comes in.

Kind regards

Arun Shrivastava
New Delhi

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