Two news-stories which appeared in this newspaper on Thursday – one on the front page, and the other the seventh – have reflected very poorly on a section of people of Assam. The front page news-story is about two local persons harassing a family from Arunachal Pradesh in Dibrugarh, with the local police too taking sides with the locals. The second news-story is about alleged harassment and extortion of taxis of Meghalaya in the Lokapriya Gopinath Bardoloi International Airport parking area by a group of local persons. In the first incident, which was about a minor collision of an Arunachal Pradesh vehicle with a local vehicle, while the two parties reached the Barbarua police station, the officer in-charge first refused to accept an FIR and register a case, and then went on to extract a sum of Rs 35,000 from the Arunachal Pradesh family. Fortunately, the Arunachal Pradesh family approached the Dibrugarh Superintendent of Police, and fortunately the SP responded positively, following which the OC of Barbarua police station was compelled to return the Rs 35,000 that he had extorted from the Arunachal Pradesh family. The Dibrugarh SP deserves commendation for responding promptly and also shunting out the erring OC. But then not all people can always get connected to a Superintendent of Police when such incidents take place. A similar incident had happened in Dibrugarh town a few months ago when local goons attacked every vehicle bearing Arunachal Pradesh registration numbers following a rumour that an Arunachal Pradesh car had knocked down a local person. Such incidents also keep happening in the north-bank districts. The second news-story, about alleged harassment of Shillong taxis in the LGBI Airport is nothing new. Vehicles from neighbouring states often face such harassment in Guwahati, and that too from a section of ill-motived and corrupt police personnel. There is a general feeling that the parking area outside LGBI Airport is increasingly becoming a haven for criminal elements. While a section of drivers and dalals often prevent taxis from Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh from picking up passengers bound for those states, fleecing passengers of those states by a section of local taxi drivers in the LGBI Airport is also said to be common.