Many bachelors in the Delhi-NCR region are struggling to find accommodation after the gruesome Shraddha Walkar murder case, as many homeowners have evicted unmarried tenants fearing a repeat of a similar crime inside their houses. To be sure, such crimes have been reported irrespective of marital status.
In an alarming development, bachelors are being turned away from housing societies in Noida in Delhi NCR.
Noida's Antriksh society, which put up a poster on the entry gate making it clear that bachelors are not welcome, is not the only one swaying to this extreme. Though some societies did that earlier as well, but it has caught up after horrific details of how Aaftab Poonawala killed and cut up his live-in girlfriend were televised at length.
The residents' welfare association of the Supertech Emerald Court in Noida have issued a notice to homeowners not to rent out their flats to bachelors.
"You have already seen Shraddha and such cases which are happening here. Who is responsible? It is the RWA or the security personnel of the society who will be held responsible. So, we are being careful," Udaybhan Singh Teotia, president of Supertech Emerald Court RWA told NDTV.
Such diktats, though, might not pass legal muster.
"A society can't give any such notice, it is illegal. There are a couple of things to consider when we test the legality here. One is that a rent agreement is between the owner and the tenant, so how does a society come into play and give such a blanket eviction notice? If any eviction notice is given at all, it can be by the owner of the property," Shivank Pratap, a Supreme Court lawyer, said.
Residents of such housing societies cite various reasons for not wanting bachelors in their neighbourhood, mostly concerning with how they use their "freedom".
"These boys come from surrounding colleges, and they feel that being in hostels is very restrictive. So, for freedom, they come here," Sanjay Singh, a Noida society resident, said.
Another resident, Sanjay Shrivastava, was clearer about what exactly bothers him.
"The problem is that when Friday arrives, and when it's their weekend, they party a lot. Due to this, different types of people come to the society and create a ruckus, and that bothers us," he said.
Students and young professionals who are not married are facing the brunt of the blanket prohibition.
"When I spoke to brokers, I realized that its difficult to find a place for a bachelor to live because generally, societies don't accept bachelors as tenants," Samridh Rela, said.
Bachelors have always had trouble finding accommodation in the NCR, but after the killing of Shraddha Walkar by her live-in boyfriend Aaftab Poonawala, homeowners are now nervous. In this situation, young people living away from their families are forced to compromise on their choice of accommodation and an uphill road to acceptance.