Activist detained in Indian nuclear town
OVER his long and distinguished career as an activist filmmaker, Wilsons Creek resident David Bradbury has been to many dangerous and politically sensitive places around the world.
Last Friday he added another run-in with authority to his record when he, wife Treena, and their three-year-old son Omar were temporarily detained by Indian police in the southern state of TamilNadu.
The film maker was attempting to access the town of Indinthakarai, in the vicinity of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant, while working on his upcoming documentary Business as Usual about Australian uranium.
Mr Bradbury said the family was being driven on a rickshaw when they were pulled over by police and escorted to a local police station.
"We were told under Section 144 of the security act, we were not allowed to go in there," Mr Bradbury said.
He said they were released after being treated to a "nice cup of chai and bikkies".
Idinthakarai is well known as a site of police repression against locals in response to anti-nuclear protests against the 1000Mw Kudankulam nuclear plant.
Last month a local fisherman was shot dead by police as he and hundreds of other protesters blockaded the highway into the Kudankulam nuclear facility.
The long-term peaceful protest had involved town locals, mostly fishermen, who Mr Bradbury said fear they are at risk of being victims of a Fukushima style nuclear accident.
The town is just 1.5km from the plant, and the coastline in the region was hit by the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, with 1800 fatalities.
Mr Bradbury described the town as "under siege".
"They've cut them off from fresh water, milk and food supplies, so they're basically reliant on fish they get from the ocean, and rice," Mr Bradbury said.
Mr Bradbury said he was concerned about the consequences of Australian uranium sales around the globe, especially to India which is not a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
One of the key outcomes of Prime Minister Julia Gillard's recent visit to India was a move towards uranium sales there after a ban was lifted last year.