Veteran Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan has passed away in Mumbai following an overnight hospitalisation in the city's Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital. He was 53.
According to a statement, his last hours were spent "surrounded by his love, his family for whom he most cared about." He is survived by his wife Sutapa and two sons.
"It's saddening that this day, we have to bring forward the news of him passing away. Irrfan was a strong soul, someone who fought till the very end and always inspired everyone who came close to him."
"After having been struck by lightning in 2018 with the news of a rare cancer, he took life soon after as it came and he fought the many battles that came with it. Surrounded by his love, his family for whom he most cared about, he left for heaven abode, leaving behind truly a legacy of his own. We all pray and hope that he is at peace. And to resonate and part with his words he had said, 'As if I was tasting life for the first time, the magical side of it'."
Rumours of his death floated on social media in the late on Tuesday evening but were rubbished by his team just hours before his death on Wednesday afternoon. The actor, who was in the hospital due to a colon-related infection, was diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer in early 2018.
Following initial news of his hospital visit, his team confirmed in a statement that he had been moved to intensive care, and in a subsequent statement, called the assumptions about his death "really disappointing."
“Yes, it is true that Irrfan khan is admitted to ICU at Kokilaben in Mumbai because of a colon infection,” the statement read. “We would keep everyone updated. He is under doctor’s observation. His strength and courage have helped him battle and fight so far and we are sure with his tremendous willpower and prayers of all his well-wishers, he will recover soon.”
“It’s really disappointing to know that there are extreme assumptions being made about Irrfan’s health. While we are truly appreciative that people are concerned, it’s disheartening to see some sources spread extreme rumours and creating panic, ” the statement read, issued on behalf of Irrfan by his spokesperson.
“Irrfan is a strong person and is still fighting the battle. We really request you to not fall for rumours and not partake in these conversations which are fictional. We have always actively clarified and shared updates on his health and we will continue doing so,” said the statement.
Khan also lost his 95-year-old mother, Saeeda Begum, earlier this week, and was unable attend her funeral in Jaipur due to the nationwide lockdown.
His final film, Angrezi Medium, was in theatres for only a day before a lockdown designed to limit the spread of COVID19 went into affect across India.