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Acclaimed forensic artist wants to quit job fearing for life

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

Over the years, Debashish Bandopadhaya's sketches have helped police identify and nab suspects in bomb blast cases across the country. But, the acclaimed forensic portrait artist now wants to quit, fearing for his life and security of his family.

"Criminals whose portraits I have sketched helping identify them, have now turned into my enemies. I want to leave this job," Bandopadhaya told PTI.

Debashish had drawn sketches of suspects in high profile cases like the 2006 Mumbai serial blast case, Varanasi bomb blast, Jaipur bomb blast, Guwahati bomb blast and several others and had already once been the target of an attack by goons for his job.

His recent near-accurate sketch of a molester based on description provided by the victim, who was forced to jump off a running train to save her honour in Howrah, helped police nab the accused and solve the case.

Bandhopadhaya, who started his career as a boatman ferrying passengers from Belur to Dakhineshwar across the Hooghly river, had a knack for drawing portraits since childhood, courtesy his father Dijendralal Bandopadhaya who was also an artist and a policeman.

"I didn't have any formal training in painting and whatever I learnt, was just by observing my father," he said.

"Initially I used to get calls from affluent families for drawing their ancestors' portraits by listening to their description," Bandopadhaya, a resident of Howrah, said.

First Published: Fri, August 23 2013. 12:06 IST