Left-leaning student organisations staged a protest rally under the banner of Chhatra Jonotar Somabesh, demanding the abolition of the Digital Security Act.
The rally was organised in front of the national museum at Shahabag around 4.30pm where activists from different units of Chhatra Union and other left leaning organisations took part, reports news agency UNB.
Their other demands are to ensure justice for Sultana Jesmin, who died under the custody of RAB which the protesters labelled an extrajudicial killing', to free all those who were arrested under DSA, and not to enact the Data Protection Act (DPA), which is in the pipeline.
Abu Sayed Khan said, "This act was made to ensure safety but it took out people's safety and freedom of thought and expression."
"Criticising corruption of the authority is our constitutional right but this act appeared as an obstacle to speak out about corruption even," he added
"The Liberation War is our history, but it has different perspectives. There must be different opinions. But this act stops people from thinking freely, which is a big obstacle to doing quality research on the war. There is no way for us to get rid of this law except by abolishing it," he further said.
Anu Muhammad, former professor of economics department of Jahangirnagar University, said: "Laws are made to ensure security but now laws are being formulated to endanger the security of the people violating the principles of our constitution."
"DSA is a law in which there are some sections which are formulated to give impunity to the criminals and sue the dissenters," he added.
Marking this government as illegal, he said, "We are demanding abolition of DSA but it hardly matters because this government does not need any law to do anything. We already know about many cases in which law enforcement agencies arrested the alleged first and hours later they filed case. On the other hand there are many cases of extrajudicial killing as the government executes people illegally that they consider as their threat."
Tanzimuddin Khan, professor of international relations department at the University of Dhaka, said, "Our country is definitely an independent country but our people are not independent. Awami government talks about Smart Bangladesh but a 200 years-old law (Official Secrets Act, 1823) still functioning in our country which have all the colonial characters and which is still an obstacle to free and investigative journalism."
"We have observed that some actors took to the streets demanding the cancelation of licence of a newspaper. But we know who they are in disguise, they are none but the people of government and they want nominations in the next election," he added.
"Today, we came here to have our rights back. We want to live an independent life, we want to express our views and thoughts freely. We have to stand together against all irregularities of the government," he added.
During the protests against DSA, DPA and extrajudicial killings, thematic cartoons and mass signature campaigns were taken during the sessions.