Hoshiarpur: Punjab residents’ fascination for world famous Kalashnikov assault rifles AK-47 still continues despite the end of militancy in the state nearly two decades ago.
However, this time it is not the popular Kalashnikov rifle that has made news. A farmer hailing from Katowal village paid Rs 7 lakh to grab the number PB-07 AK-47 for his Honda Activa scooter during an auction for auction for vehicle registration numbers at Hoshiarpur in Punjab.
Reports, Wednesday, claimed that the farmer Kulbir Singh paid a whopping Rs 700,000 for his Activa scooter, which costs around Rs 53,000 only.
Not only this, the auction witnessed a fierce competition among 16 bidders who were ready to pay any amount of money to get their favourite number.
Five of them even continued their bids till the amount rose to Rs 5 lakh.
Interestingly, Russian rifle AK-47 (Avtomat Kalashnikova) was the most commonly used weapon by terrorists in Punjab during the militancy days.
After winning the auction, Kulbir Singh told reporters, “I had a clear mandate from my Italy-based brother Amanpreet Singh and US-based cousin Dilsher Singh Dhaliwal, 20, to get the number at any cost. Dilsher Singh had been telling me to get the number even if the bid goes up to Rs 12-13 lakh."
When asked why he was so fascinated with the number AK-$&, he said, “It is a very popular number and is unique. We anticipated that there would be competition for this number and were prepared for it.”
He added, "Earlier, two of our vehicles also had '47' as registration number but for AK-47, we were prepared to spend any amount of money."
Kulbir, his wife, and two daughters distributed sweets in the neighbourhood after winning the bid. The 38-year-old, who owns a Skoda Laura (PB-38 0001), said he would buy a Fortuner and transfer the new number to the four-wheeler from the scooter.
Hoshiarpur District Transport Officer PS Gill said the department had expected the bid to go high but not to this extent.
"There was fierce competition among the bidders and the bid rose very quickly as the 16 participants appeared desperate to win it," he said.
First Published: Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 19:18