Having been pushed on to the backfoot after a man accused the separatists of playing politics on the bodies of Kashmiri youth, top separatist Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Tuesday accused the “Indian media” of making the man (Irfan Sheikh) a tool of “vicious propaganda campaign”.

The video in which Irfan Sheikh accused the separatists of double standards has triggered a debate on the social media about the role of the Hurriyat leaders in escalation of violence in Kashmir. Irfan, a cousin of Qaiser Ahmad who was run over by a CRPF jeep during an attack by a violent mob, had challenged a team of Hurriyat leaders who were sent to his house by Syed Ali Shah Geelani to mourn his death.

Mirwaiz Umer Farooq on his tweet defended Irfan by saying young people like him have every right to vent their emotions.

Reaction of the Mirwaiz came after the video of Irfan lambasting the Hurriyat delegation was widely circulated on Internet, generating debates on social media and on national television news channels. Irfan had told the Hurriyat delegation that “now people are frightened of you”.

Mirwaiz, as usual, tried to blame the “Indian media”, by tweeting: “Indian media repeatedly expose their shallowness and frustration! The youth of Kashmir like Irfan Sheikh, who are at the forefront of the freedom movement, giving immense sacrifices, have every right to question their leadership and vent their emotions. It is deplorable that this boy is being made a tool by this insensitive media in a vicious propaganda campaign.”

“Actually this section of electronic media lives off spreading hate and propaganda about Kashmir. They have a deep vested interest in it. #Kashmir and #Hurriyat bashing has become a great TRP grosser for them!”

In the video, Irfan is heard saying that “on the one hand you are greeting separatist Shabir Shah’s daughter for excelling in exams as a student of  Delhi Public School and on the other hand you are asking Kashmiris not to send children to Christian missionary schools.”

“Against the sayings and practices of the Prophet, who said Muslims should hasten the burial of their dead, you kept my cousin’s body on the road for three hours to fuel anger. Is that the teaching of the holy Prophet?”

Reacting to the episode, opposition National Conference’s Junaid Azim Mattu tweeted: “Questions being asked openly of the Hurriyat is evolution. Accountability is crucial — especially in a conflict where thousands of lives have been lost. There are glaring contradictions between their public positions and personal lives and why shouldn’t that be questioned?”

Joining the debate on the twitter and appreciating Irfan for questioning the Hurriyat, one Mujaid Alam Bakerwal tweeted: “see hw young man questions Hurriyat leadership in Srinagar. Well done brother! Those who wr supporters of hurriyat rejecting them completely. Youth of Kashmir nw understand d real intention of hurriyat leaders”.