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Uttarakhand High Court sets aside President's rule in the state

The Uttarakhand High Court has set aside President's rule in the state after hearing a plea, for four consecutive days. The court has allowed former Chief Minister Harish Rawat's plea, challenging the Centre's decision regarding President's rule. Earlier in the day, the court asked the Centre, "More than anger, we are pained that you can behave like this, how can you be playing with the court?" 

Amid speculations that the Centre is planning to revoke President's rule, the Uttarakhand High Court had also said, "Why don't you give a definite instruction that you won't revoke President's rule for a week."

The crisis in Uttarakhand began when nine congress MLAs left the party and pledged their support to the BJP. President's rule was imposed on the state on 27 March, just a day before the floor test.

West Bengal Assembly polls: 18.29% voting recorded in third phase till 9 am

18.29% voting has been recorded till 9 am during the third phase of polling for 62 Assembly constituencies in West Bengal. One person was killed on 21 April in clashes in Murshidabad early morning. To maintain the law and order situation, one lakh security personnel have been deployed in Murshidabad, Burdwan and Nadia districts. Kolkata has also been put under heavy security.

Meanwhile, people queued up in large numbers outside the polling booths for voting in the third phase of West Bengal election.

A total of 418 candidates - including 70 independents and 34 women - are in the fray. 58 candidates for seven constituencies of North Kolkata, 189 for 22 seats of Murshidabad, 108 for 17 seats of Nadia and 83 contestants for 16 seats of Burdwan districts are trying their luck.

Kupwara encounter: 3 terrorists gunned down, gunbattle continues

Three terrorists have been gunned down so far in the encounter between security forces and terrorists in Lolab area of Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir.

According to the latest update, the surrounding Puthshahi area has been completely cordoned off as security forces are trying to smoke out the remaining two terrorists who are still hiding in the area.

The Army and the Jammu and Kashmir police launched a joint counter strike against the terrorist in a massive gunbattle which began early on 21 April.

J&K HC allows detained Handwara girl to meet her mother, lawyers

The minor girl at the centre of the Handwara crisis has been allowed by the Jammu and Kashmir high court to meet her mother and lawyers. The high court on Wednesday directed the police superintendent to facilitate these meetings.

The girl has been in police custody since 12 April, the day she was molested at a washroom near an Army bunker in Handwara, according to the Hindustan Times.

On Wednesday, the court heard the habeas corpus plea for the immediate release of the girl, her father and aunt. This will be bundled with a PIL filed by Bar Association and heard on 26 April.

New Panama docs show Bachchan participated in offshore firms' board meetings

Documents have been unearthed that contradict actor Amitabh Bachchan's denial of any knowledge of four offshore companies of which he was named as a director.

Bachchan, named in a list of Indians with possibly illegal offshore companies after records of Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca were leaked, had denied having anything to do with those companies, says The Indian Express.

But the new documents show that he, as director of two of these companies, had participated in their board meetings "by telephone conference." The companies were all in the shipping trade and had been set up between 1993 and 1997.

BJP prepares to form govt in Uttarakhand

The BJP has recalled Kailash Vijayvargiya, its general secretary in charge of West Bengal, from his election duties and put him in charge of coordinating his party's bid for the Uttarakhand Assembly.

In Delhi now, Vijayvargiya has held closed door meetings with possible CM candidates Satpal Maharaj and Bhagat Singh Koshyari, and has discussed the party's strategy in Uttarakhand with BJP national spokesperson Anil Baluni, according to The Economic Times.

"Uttarakhand's political situation was discussed... The situation of indecision should not persist for long," said Vijayvargiya about his meetings.

Women devotees at Nashik temple assaulted while entering inner sanctum

A group of women trying to enter the inner sanctum of the Trimbakeshwar temple, Nashik, on Wednesday were allegedly assaulted and denied entry by residents of Trimbak. The police have booked 150 people in connection with the assault.

The Trimbakeshwar Devasthan Trust had decided last week to allow women into the inner sanctum as long as they wear wet cotton or silk clothes. The women activists however, refused to follow these directions.

Members of the Pune-based Swarajya Mahila Sanghatana allege that when they got to the temple on Wednesday, they were asked to wear wet cotton clothes, according to the Hindustan Times.

Govt will make parents of underage drivers legally accountable

The government plans to amend the Motor Vehicles Act so as to punish the parents of children who drive, after a rising number of fatalities caused by underage drivers.

The amendment will be discussed on 22 April when the road transport ministry holds a meeting of state transport secretaries, says the Hindustan Times.

"If a minor is involved, it will be presumed that the parents know and willingly allowed or influenced the child. So, they should be held accountable for allowing the minor to drive," said a road transport ministry source on Wednesday.

Govt plans 'India, Land of Yoga' campaign with Julia Roberts

The tourism ministry is planning a global campaign to project India as the land of yoga, with Hollywood actor Julia Roberts as the campaign's face.

Roberts has been associated with yoga since she shot for the film Eat Pray Love at an ashram near Gurugram in 2009.

"The plan has to be approved by tourism minister Mahesh Sharma and the Prime Minister's Office before we approach the actress, but having an international face recognised for practicing yoga is crucial for the success of the campaign," said a tourism ministry official, according to The Telegraph.

'Unknown sources' constitute 54% of 5 national parties' income

India's election watchdog Association of Democratic Rights has found that 54 per cent of the total income of national level political parties in 2014-15 was from unknown sources.

The ADR analysed the income and expenditure of the BJP, CPM, CPI, BSP and the NCP, based on their income tax returns submitted to the Election Commission of India. It found that among the five parties, the NCP was the only one to make the details of all voluntary donations public, according to The Telegraph, while the sources of about 50 per cent of the voluntary contributions to the BJP are unknown.