The Prime Minister's Office has expressed concern over the stand-off in the Naga peace talks – between the rebel groups and the center's interlocutor – which threatens to derail a key political dialogue.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has now asked the Director of the Intelligence Bureau, Arvind Kumar, to bring the apparently derailed talks back on track.
According to a report of NDTV, a senior official in the ministry said that over the last six years RN Ravi, in his capacity as interlocutor, was talking to various Naga groups but since the past 10 or 11 months, things are not going well.
According to the official, the PMO has tasked Arvind Kumar and IB Special Director Akshay Kumar Mishra with firefighting responsibilities.
The North East Division of the IB also has new officers. Mandeep Tulli, a 1999 batch officer who until now was posted in Manipur's Imphal, back in Delhi as Joint Director (North East). Nagaland has also got a new SIB head in 1996-batch officer Ritu Mishra.
The centre is believed to be particularly perturbed by an emerging three-way feud in Nagaland – between the NSCN(IM), the largest of the rebel groups, RN Ravi and the new National Naga Political Groups (NNPG).
The fact Ravi openly targeted the elected government in Nagaland, which is a BJP alliance partner, has also not gone down well.
Ravi, in an Independence Day speech, had said: "Nagaland is endowed with one of the finest human and natural resources. Unfortunately, today it has the dubious distinction of the worst-performing state in the country, including the northeast region, on almost all significant indicators of human development".
Meanwhile, opposition parties continue to target the centre over the framework agreement reached with Naga rebel groups in 2015.
"Delhi had promised new cultural identity for Nagas without changing territorial boundaries. But as there are many tensions between tribes too, nothing substantial has come out so far," an official said.
However, the center has refused to back down. "Talks will go on as the government cannot be threatened," a senior bureaucrat declared.