Accusing the political class of holding on to the reins of control of the police force, former IPS officer Kiran Bedi has said the country is a soft target for terrorists and that the 'neighbours' are aware of it.
"Our system is old and medieval and the neighbours know this. We have not let the police system become professional and fully accountable because politicians and bureaucrats want to retain control," the first woman IPS officer told PTI here.
"Professionalising the police means true rule of law - a police fully accountable to law and no one else," Bedi said.
On the recent terror attack on Mumbai, Bedi said, "All those who had access to information, be it politicans, bureaucrats, law enforcement agencies and police among others should be held responsible for the attack."
"Breach in accountability ought to have meant dismissals and not mere transfers or suspensions. And later, reinstatements," she added.
Calling for sweeping changes in the archaic criminal legal system, Bedi said citizens should play an active role in demanding changes and seeking accountability.
"Our laws have never been known to keep pace with ground needs. We still have the Police Act of 1861, Prison Act of 1894 and the Indian Penal Code, also of the same vintage. Our elected representatives accuse each other but do not legislate. They have failed us on this completely," she said.
"We all have to wake up and shake off the slumber or else we will be victimised more and more. And the invisibles will continue to get away," Bedi said.