Two former chiefs of the Indian Army and one retired Chief of the Naval Staff have offered to return the flats they have been allocated in the controversial Mumbai high-rise Adarsh Housing Cooperative Society. They did not have the scantiest idea that that the flats were meant for Kargil war widows, the former top brass of the Armed Forces of India said.

“We have absolutely no hesitation whatsoever in returning these flats allotted to us to the authorities concerned,” Admiral Madhavendra Singh, speaking on behalf of himself and General Nirmal Chander Vij, former Chief of Army who retired in January 2005 and General Deepak Kapoor, who retired in March this year, said reading out a statement before a select group of electronic media persons at his residence here on Friday.

After his retirement in July 31, 2004, Admiral Madhavendra Singh is settled in the Pink City, his hometown.

“For the past few days we have been following with utter dismay the controversy that has arisen over the allotment of flats in the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society. At no stage were we aware that these flats were meant for Kargil war widows as claimed by some sections of the media. If this be so we have absolutely no hesitation whatsoever in returning these flats allotted to us to the authorities concerned,” Admiral Madhavendra Singh said.

“Having spent a lifetime in the Armed Forces in the service of the nation and in looking after the welfare of our troops it was never our intention to deprive anyone of their due,” the cryptic statement added.

Admiral Singh did not entertain any questions. “Don’t ask me anything now,” he said. The Admiral was commanding the Western Maritime Theatre during the Kargil War in 1999.