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Indian typist 'fed up' after abuse image goes viral

LUCKNOW: An Indian who became an overnight star when an image of a policeman kicking his typewriter went viral has said he is fed up with all the attention — and just wants to go back to typing letters.

The photograph of the officer harassing Kishan Kumar, who makes a living as a streetside typist in the northern city of Lucknow, provoked an outpouring of sympathy from Indians outraged at his treatment.

Local authorities reacted swiftly, suspending the officer who destroyed his typewriter and promising compensation of 100,000 rupees ($1,500) as well as a new machine.

But Kumar, who is in his 60s but does not know his exact age, said he was “fed up” with his new-found celebrity, which had made it impossible for him to work.

“I just can’t work with so many people surrounding me. I haven’t earned a single penny for the past two days,” he told AFP outside the Lucknow post office, where he plies his trade.

“What will I feed my family if I do not get to earn?… I come here to work, not to give media interviews.”

Although typewriters have largely disappeared from many countries, streetside typists remain a common sight in many Indian cities.

They can be seen hunched over often ancient machines, tapping out affidavits, family title deeds and court applications for around 10 rupees per page.

Kumar said he had received an anonymous threat of violence since the incident on Saturday, while promises of money from well-wishers had failed to materialise.

“I have received a couple of calls from people asking for my bank details… (but) I haven’t received any money from anybody,” he said.

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