Sandeep Jethwa reports on the mood of the city that was known for its world renowned culinary and luxury with people flooding cafes on road sides and terraces making it one of the liveliest cities in the world.
Sandeep Jethwa visits Paris after a few days of the Brutal terrorist attacks that had been carried out in the city. A country where he was welcomed is now performing one of the most intense security checks in airports, outside museums. What you see around are security guarding streets, monuments and museums, Security blocks on almost every road and sniffing dogs smelling each compartment of your car all of this sums up a scary atmosphere. All the festal lights had faded away. Street side vendors and the Christmas market house no one in them after the brutal terrorist attacks that had spread a spell of silence all over the city.
The city which was once renown as the city of lights, with people pouring in from all continents, city which was called as the city of Romance now holds a curse of silence all around it, all the love and lights have been gathered around at the Place de la République which has become a living memorial just steps from where the terrorists attacked. The statue of Marianne which was long neglected by Parisians and tourists is now a place where people gather to light candles, to drop of flower bouquets and cry; as this is the last choice they are left with after losing their loved ones.
A series of seven terrorist attacks were carried out in Paris on the 13th of November by militants claiming to be from the Islamic Rebel organization ISIS/ISIL killing at least 130 people.The First attack was simultaneously carried out near the Paris stadium Stade de France four miles away at around 9.20pm local time. The first explosion carried out in the Stade de France where a large crowd was enjoying the first half of the international friendly between France and Germany
The attacks then moved to central Paris, where a separate squad of gunmen reached in a black hatchback at the Right Bank area of the city. The attackers then opened fire on nearby restaurants and a bar on the side of the road killing around 15 or more diner’s that were enjoying their weekend out.The fourth attack came on Rue de la Fontaine au Roi, when the same squad drove 500 yards towards the Casa Nostra pizzeria and again opened fire on diners, killing at least five.
After this the same terrorist squad of ISIS/ISIL drove another mile to the south east passing by the area of Bataclan concert venue, this time they targeted a nearby bar in Rue De Charonne killing around 19 people enjoying a night out on a terrace bar at around 9.35 pm.
After this attack the cold blooded terrorists took their way back towards the concert venue in Bataclan, Boulevard Voltaire. This was the most deadly attack from the series killing around 89 people that were shot by black gunmen using AK-47 rifles and wearing suicide jackets.
It’s sad to hear about these events carried out but it is even sadder to hear about the response of security forces that took almost 20 minutes after the concert hall was targeted causing the attackers to flee away. One of the coldest blooded and brutal attacks this world has ever seen killing around 130 people in total and leaving many in intensive care.
Sandeep Jethwa misses the old Paris he used to roam around; he misses the welcoming attitude of Parisians towards their street side restaurants and Terrace bars, all of this has been faded away with the blow of terrorism.
Sandy planned to visit Bataclan where ISIS/ISIL extremists targeted poor weekenders, he wanted to have a feel of the place does it still have the liveliness it used to or does it scream out gunshots and bloodbath.
Terrorism in Paris had chilled out all consumer spending’s, basically shutting down much of the city’s retail business for most of the weekend. It was heard Disneyland Paris remained closed for many of days. The Louvre and the Eiffel Tower reopened to the public after security clearance.
Bataclan smells like sadness, Sandy visits a local restaurant that was targeted and has a chat with some local visitors on what it feels like now, Today the inhabitants of Bataclan are worried and aggressive at the same time, determined to go to rock concerts, to drink on the terraces of cafés but they have chosen the fellowship of sadness with them. The desire to be together has won out over the fear of leaving one’s house.