Information officers in Uttar Pradesh must track newspapers for "negative news" that is "tarnishing the image of the government", according to a circular issued by the UP government. A quoted the circular as saying that if the news is "baseless", then the newspaper's editor or reporter should be asked to publish the "correct facts".
The circular was issued on August 5 by Navneet Sehgal, additional chief secretary of the state's information and PR department.
Quint quoted the circular as saying that "at the district level, negative news being published isn’t being deliberated upon nor is there any investigation being done on such news. This is tarnishing the government’s image at the district and state level...Deep disappointment has been expressed at the top-most level."
Sehgal told the digital news portal that "every government is allowed to keep track of such news". He described it as "keeping in touch with journalists".
Last week, Newslaundry had reported on how the Adityanath government was backtracking on promises made to the family of the 2020 Hathras rape victim. These promises, issued directly by chief minister Adityanath himself, included a government job for a family member and a house, but the state government then stalled in court for months, saying they were not obligated to keep these promises. Read our .