Punjabis’ tryst with the ubiquitous “AK 47” seems to be never ending. The name of the Russian-made assault rifle that had virtually become a household name during the days of terrorism in Punjab decades ago, still catches the people’s fancy.The new vehicle registration series in Mohali district containing the alpha-numerics “AK 47” (PB 65 AK 0047) was auctioned for whopping Rs 7,38,500, beating even the single-digit numbers, that are traditionally the most sought after.
The second highest bidder (PB 65 AK 0001) went for Rs 5,00,500, lagging behind “AK 47” by a huge margin of Rs 2.38 lakh. The “AK 47” was bought by Randeep Singh, a local resident, during the week-long e-auction conducted by the office of local district transport officer here.Other numbers in the series such as 0009, 0005 and 0007 went for Rs 3.49 lakh, Rs 2.45 lakh and Rs 1.12 lakh, respectively. The remaining vanity numbers, including 0786, considered auspicious by Muslims, fetched less than Rs 1 lakh each. The prices of vanity numbers in Mohali are apparently much higher than Chandigarh.The highest price that a vanity number fetched during the latest auction at Chandigarh was Rs 3.61 lakh for 0005. The 0001 number had fetched Rs 2.2 lakh there. “The craze for weapons in Punjab is apparent. Besides being glamorised and showcased in Punjabi songs and videos, it is also being tagged with vanity numbers. Two other numbers — AK 0056 and AK 0074 — which are names of rifles of the AK-47 category, were among the top 25 bids,” said a Punjab Police officer.