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Kerala governor Farook dies in Chennai hospital

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Kerala Governor M.O.H. Farook Thursday died in a private hospital in Chennai due to multiple myeloma - a cancer of plasma cells - at the age of 75, officials said. A seven-day state mourning has been declared in Kerala.

Farook was recently granted leave to go for medical treatment to Chennai.

"He was admitted for multiple myeloma at Apollo Hospital in Teynampet (cancer speciality hospital). The end came today (Thursday) at 9.20 p.m.," an Apollo official told IANS.

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who was on an official trip to Thrissur, cancelled his programme and would leave for Chennai Friday morning to pay his respects.

The Kerala government has declared a holiday for all state government offices and the central government offices in the state capital will not function as well.

Farook, a three-time chief minister of Puducherry and also a former union minister, was sworn in as Kerala governor Sep 8 last year.

A graduate in economics, Farook was born in Karaikal, Puducherry, and was a Member of Puducherry Legislative Assembly between 1964-1991. He was twice the speaker of the assembly.

Between March-December 1990, he was the leader of the opposition.

Thrice elected to the Lok Sabha from Puducherry in 1991, 1996 and 1999, he served as a minister of state for civil aviation and tourism from June 1991 to December 1992 in the P.V. Narasimha Rao government.

In 2004, he was appointed as the Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and held that post till December 2009.

Between January 2010 and September 2011, he was governor of Jharkhand.

In his younger days, Farook had participated in the struggle for the liberation of Puducherry when it was a French colony.

He also took part in the struggle for the maintenance of an independent Puducherry when the late Morarji Desai was the prime minister. Farook was arrested and lodged in jails in Puducherry and Cuddaore, Tamil Nadu.

A widower at the time of his death, Farook was married to S.A. Kadhija Nachiyal in 1960 and they had one son and two daughters.

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