The Centre is concerned about the situation in the Kashmir Valley that has taken a serious turn in the past few days.

Responding to the issue raised by members in the Lok Sabha on Monday, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was in Delhi for talks. “I have personally spoken to him many times,'' he said.

Pointing out that Jammu and Kashmir was a sensitive State and its problems were known, Mr. Chidambaram said the situation had taken a serious turn in the last few weeks. There was a lull in incidents from July 19, but things worsened after July 30. The government would make a statement in Parliament on the happenings in the Valley at the earliest.

Raising the matter during Zero Hour, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani said the news from Kashmir was not good with “violence and lawlessness'' becoming the order of the day. He said it was appropriate that the government tell the House what was being done to bring back normality in the Valley, particularly when the Cabinet Committee on Security had met twice in the past few days to discuss the Kashmir issue.

On Monday, both Houses of Parliament functioned normally for the first time since the monsoon session started on July 26. A demand for discussion on price rise with voting had seen disruptions for the entire last week. The government arrived at a consensus with the Opposition over the issue on Monday morning, following which the proceedings went on as scheduled.

Sharad Yadav of the Janata Dal (United) described the matter as serious and said the whole nation was concerned about the situation in the valley. The government should take Parliament into confidence to find a solution.

Drawing the attention of the House to a deep sense of alienation among the people of Kashmir, Basudeb Acharia (CPI-M) said there was a need for a dialogue involving the Centre and the State to find a solution.

Suggesting that a Parliamentary delegation be sent to hear out the people of the valley, Mr. Acharia said the people had lost faith in the State government. “There is a need for restoration of autonomy as promised by the Centre,'' he added. Mr. Acharia wanted to know what measures the State government had taken to control the situation after the Chief Minister's all-party meeting.

Mulayam Singh of the Samajwadi Party said all parties should work towards restoring faith of the people of Kashmir in the Centre, which was lacking at present.