Renowned Malayalam writer and novelist Dr Punathil Kunjabdulla passed away in a private hospital in Kozhikode on Friday. He was 77.

The writer, who was admitted to the hospital on Thursday due to age-related ailments, breathed his last at around 7.45 a.m.

He was suffering from age-related illness for over a year. His funeral would be held at Vadakara later this evening.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Culture Minister A K Balan and Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala have condoled the death of Kunjabdulla.

Born in Onchiyam near Vadakara in the district in April 1940, Kunjabdulla was a doctor by profession. He had completed his MBBS from Aligarh Muslim University and also worked as a government doctor between 1970 and 1973.

A pathbreaking writer in Malayalam literature, Kunjabdulla started writing at the age of 13, and his works include seven novels and a collection of 15 short stories. A strong-willed person, Punathil was one of the pioneers in bringing modernity in  Malayalam literature. 

Punathil even surprised many when he decided to contest from Beypore Assembly Constituency in 2001 under Bharatiya Janata Party ticket. He finished third with 10,000 votes. 

He won the Kendriya Sahitya Academy Award for his novel  "Smarakasilakal" (memorial stones) in the year 1980 and was also recipient of the Kerala Sahitya Academy Award in 1978 and 1980.

Kunjabdulla also received the Mathrubhumi Literary award, Muttah Verky award and Vishwavidhyapeedam award.

His major works include novels like 'Marunnu', 'Paralokam', 'Agnikanavugal', 'Punathilinte Novellukal' and 'Ammaye Kanaan' and short stories like 'Aligarh Kathakal', 'Kshethravilakkukal', 'Malanukalile Abdulla', 'Kure Sthreekal' and 'Pranaya Kathakal'.