Police in Madhya Pradesh's Hoshangabad district have asked women to take selfies with the officer in charge of the station, and post them as their display pictures on social networking sites to discourage online stalkers, ANI reported. More than 500 women have reportedly taken selfies with police personnel as part of the campaign called 'Thana in-charge mera bhai hai'.

Officials said the initiative was launched after several cases of online stalking were reported in Hoshangabad. A large number of the complainants said they were sent obscene photographs and text messages online and that one stalker even threatened to upload a girl's photograph and mobile number on a pornographic website.

The district's superintendent of police, AP Singh, said, "WhatsApp stalking is emerging as a major problem these days. While thinking on how to resolve the issue, the idea of selfies with the thana in-charge came to my mind. When the thana in-charge was sent to schools and colleges to meet girls and explain to them this idea, we got an overwhelming response." If the stalkers persist, officials said they will resort to the "traditional methods".

The initiative is among the several campaigns launched by police personnel in the state's districts as part of a competition for the Best Practices Award announced by the Director General of Police Rishi Kumar Shukla, The Times of India reported.