To confirm the emails receipt and to again try and reach Singh, The Indian Express contacted Kunal Verma, a photojournalist commissioned by Singh when he was Army Chief to write a set of three pictorial books on the North-East.
On September 19, Verma called this reporter early in the morning with an offer to fix a meeting with Singh. A few hours later, he said Singh had told him to convey that he does not wish to speak to The Indian Express and should the newspaper write anything about me they will get it in the neck.
Verma claimed that Singh was unable to read the email since he was shifting residence and could not access it on his phone since it was not functioning. Verma asked for the email to be copied to him which The Indian Express declined to do.
Later in the evening, however, PTI reported Singh as saying: This (an apparent reference to the Bhatia report) is simple vendetta as some people are not comfortable with me sharing the dais with Narendra Modi to espouse the cause of ex-servicemen in the country.
He told PTI that if anyone has recommended a probe into the functioning of the unit, then that person is talking through his hat as its operations were meant to be secret.