Actor Mohanlal on Sunday apologised to a reporter who had sought his comment on a protest by a group of nuns protesting against the alleged delay in the police investigation into rape charges brought against Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal by a fellow nun.

In a Facebook post, the actor said his remarks were not intended to hurt any individual, institution or journalism. “If my reply had hurt the individual who raised the question, please accept my apology considering me as an elder brother,” he said.

Mohanlal was at the Kochi port on Saturday to distribute flood relief material that had arrived from various countries. When a reporter asked for his comment on the ongoing protests by the Kerala nuns, the actor said: “Aren’t you ashamed to ask a question like this now? What is the connection between what I am doing here and the protests?”

Mohanlal said the “untimely question” was raised when he was briefing the media about flood relief activities.

“The question is relevant as it is one of the most discussed issues in the state at present,” the actor said. “But I was not in a mood then to reply to that question. As a human being and as a son, I was in a different state of mind at that time. That’s why such a reply came from me,” he claimed.

Meanwhile, Bishop Franco Mulakkal has written a letter to Pope Francis, seeking permission to temporarily step down from his responsibilities at the Jalandhar Diocese. Mulakkal is accused of raping the nun 13 times between 2014 and 2016, and the case is being investigated by the Kerala Police.