Actor Zaira Wasim on Friday criticised Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel for comparing her to a painting of a hijab-clad woman pictured above another girl trapped inside a cage. Wasim, who shot to fame for her portrayal of the young Geeta Phogat in Dangal, said she disagreed with Goel, who said the painting told a similar story to that of the actor’s.

“Our daughters have broken their cages and have started progressing,” Goel said in a tweet which contained a photograph of him examining the painting. “More power to our daughters!” In a series of replies to Goel’s tweet, Wasim requested him to “not connect me to such a discourteous depiction”. “Women in hijab[s] are beautiful and free,” she said.

“Moreover, the story depicted through this painting is not even remotely relevant to mine,” Wasim said. The incident comes only four days after the actor issued an “open confession/apology” for meeting Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday. “I want to apologise to all those I’ve unintentionally hurt... I understand their sentiments, especially considering what has happened [in Kashmir] over the past six months,” she had said.

Internet trolls, particularly from the Kashmir Valley, questioned the teenager’s moral character for acting in the hit film and ridiculed her for sporting a short crop, soon after her meeting Mufti. Several celebrities including Wasim’s co-star Aamir Khan and Geeta Phogat came out in support of her. Khan urged people criticising Wasim to “leave her alone and respect the fact that she is just a 16-year-old trying her best to deal with life”.