"The principal of a technical institute in Panvel had been questioned earlier after he was suspected to have brainwashed a group of four young men, who disappeared from Kalyan and were believed to have joined the ISIS. We suspect that he might have propagated about ISIS among other youngsters too," the official said.
"Some teachers of the institute were also questioned before," he said. The principal has again been summoned and is expected to turn up before the investigators in a day or two, he said.
In May this year, four youths -- Arif Majeed, Shaheen Tanki, Fahad Shaikh and Aman -- from neighbouring Kalyan town had left India to visit holy places in the Middle East, but disappeared thereafter. They were suspected to have joined the ISIS.
On August 26, Majeed was reportedly killed in bombing. The ATS had questioned several people from Kalyan, Thane and Navi Mumbai for their suspected role in motivating and providing logistical support to the four men and facilitating the recruitment of others.
During investigation, the agency had discovered that two Afghan nationals -- Rehman Daulati and Ahmed Rateb Husseinzade -- were persuading youngsters from Kalyan and allegedly indoctrinating them. Also, they had flouted the Foreigner's Act, Registration of Foreigner's Act and Registration of Foreigner's Rule, police said.
Further probe revealed that one Aadil Dolare, a fruit seller, was suspected to be the main person involved in brainwashing the men from Kalyan, they said.
An FIR was registered at the Bazarpeth police station in Kalyan against Dolare, the Afghan nationals and the manager of a hotel (in Kalyan), Govind Thappa, in the last week of September, who allowed the foreigners to check-into the hotel but did not inform the police as per norms, police added.