Mohammad Sirazudin, who was arrested on Thursday by the Rajasthan ATS for allegedly influencing people to join the Islamic State, had caught the police's attention when they were tracking a Hyderabad-based young woman who was following pro-IS propaganda on social media.
Sirazudin, an Indian Oil Corporation executive hailing from Kalaburgi in Karnataka, was allegedly influencing people to join the IS, The Times of India reported.
Sirazudin was the administrator of a closed group of Facebook which the girl, in her twenties, was following.
An intelligence officer told TOI that "The girl was found to be on the verge of getting radicalised and we are now counseling her for de-radicalisation, taking the help of her family and community elders."
Speaking about Sirazudin, the officer said that around 15-20 people including both Indians and foreigners followed him on Facebook and WhatsApp. "He would put pro-IS material online and influence his followers to subscribe to the extremist, violent ideology propounded by the militant group. He would also actively persuade them to travel to IS territories to participate in jihad," the officer said.
Sirazudin was also in touch with a few youths from Maharashtra who were found to be on the verge of radicalisation, the report adds.
Sirazudin was arrested under provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act 1967 and has been remanded in police custody till December 21.
The Indian Express reported that when Sirazudin was presented before the Chief Judicial Magistrate on Friday, he reportedly broke down in court and said that he was misled and that he had made a mistake.
He also reportedly pleaded with the judge to show him leniency as his wife had recently given birth to their second child in Bengaluru.
While his colleagues described him as a "quiet" man, his neighbours told IE that he was a "nice, young fellow".
"He didnâ€™t really talk much but wasnâ€™t suspicious in any way. He was very supportive of his wife, who had been going through a lot of pregnancy-related complications," one of his neighbours told the newspaper.