Director Pooja Bhatt has come to the defence of Priyanka Chopra, who was recently criticised for a controversial episode of her show, Quantico, in which ‘Hindu nationalists’ were depicted as terrorists.

“When Priyanka Chopra makes a mark for herself Internationally we claim her achievements as our own & then threaten to ban her films & make her apologise for a work of fiction that has been created by someone else. Can we please attempt to be larger than that?” Pooja, who directed Jism 2 in 2012, wrote on Twitter on Monday.

In the episode, Priyanka, an FBI agent, foils a terrorist plot by spotting a ‘rudraksha’ – prayer beads – on the perpetrator, identifying him as a Hindu. Hindu nationalism, as well as the violence in Kashmir – which was the central issue of the summit targeted by the terrorist in Quantico – have been controversial topics in India.

On Sunday, after days of mounting criticism online, Priyanka tweeted an apology. “I’m extremely saddened and sorry that some sentiments have been hurt by a recent episode of Quantico. That was not and would never be my intention. I sincerely apologise. I’m a proud Indian and that will never change,” she wrote.

Priyanka’s statement came two days after the ABC network absolved her of having anything to do with the show’s plot. “ABC Studios and the executive producers of Quantico would like to extend an apology to our audience who were offended by the most recent episode, The Blood of Romeo. The episode has stirred a lot of emotion, much of which is unfairly aimed at Priyanka Chopra, who didn’t create the show, nor does she write or direct it. She has no involvement in the casting of the show or the storylines depicted in the series.Quantico is a work of fiction. The show has featured antagonists of many different ethnicities and backgrounds, but in this case we inadvertently and regrettably stepped into a complex political issue. It was certainly not our intention to offend anyone,” the network said in a statement.

Quantico was cancelled by ABC recently due to dwindling ratings. The show will go off air after concluding its third season. Priyanka has twice won the People’s Choice Award for her performance in the show.