Nagaland&’s Tuensang district is on the boil again following the killing on 6 February of a couple by unidentified gunmen. The district had been tense since February last year after a 15-year-old boy was killed in a village clash and the abduction of a woman and her child. They were freed after an apex body intervened. But the situation took an ugly turn when a policeman was attacked in Tuensang town and even as he was being taken to hospital an irate crowd pounced on him and hacked him to death. Prohibitory orders and imposition of curfew came after much damage was caused. At that point of time chief minister TR Zeliang was reportedly preoccupied protecting his seat following dissident activities. Kohima showed belated concern by sending the state&’s home minister to Tuensang. After meeting a cross-section of people he concluded that it was a mere village clash and not a tribal conflict. Tuensang is home to tribes like Chang, Yimchunger and Sangtam, whose ancestors indulged in headhunting. Despite changed economic conditions and social transformation tribalism still runs deep in every Naga psyche. The Eastern Naga People&’s Organisation, the apex court society of Eastern Nagaland, said in a release after last year&’s clash that the two tribes involved – Chang and Yimchunger – have decided there will be no more violence, confrontation and killing of each other. Given this there seems to a mysterious hand behind the recent killings. The ENPO&’s hands must be strengthened by forming peace committees. Tribalism has no place in modern Nagaland. Else, the prognosis is too terrifying to think about.