People from all walks of life, including from student bodies, demonstrated against the custodial death of writer Mushtaq Ahmed for the second straight day on Saturday across the country.
Besides, they also demanded that the controversial Digital Security Act be abolished.
Meanwhile, eight people have been imprisoned after being charged with Digital Security Act and attempting murder while protesting over the issue.
The Bangladesh Chhatra Federation on Saturday announced that it would hold demonstrations across the country and besiege the Home Ministry on 1 March and the Prime Minister's Office on 3 March as part of its protest programme.
The organisation's General Secretary Zahid Sujon declared the programmes in the Dhaka University area yesterday.
The student body also demanded an immediate release of their fellow-students held by police during the protest on Friday night.
"If they are not released by Saturday evening, the government has to take responsibility if the situation escalates," warned Zahid.
Of the eight protesters who have been jailed, seven were arrested from Saturday's protest in Dhaka University area and another, Ruhul Amin, coordinator of Shramik-Krishak-Chhatra-Janata Oikkya Parishad, was nabbed in Khulna.
A Khulna court granted a two-day remand against Ruhul, who has been charged under the Digital Security Act.
The seven arrestees are Tamjid Haider of Narayanganj, Nazir Amin Chowdhury of Kishoreganj, ASM Tanzimur Rahman of Noakhali, Akib Ahmed, a student of Dhaka University, Arafat Saad of Barisal, Nazifa Jannat of Laxmipur and Jayati Chakraborty of Patuakhali.
A Dhaka court on Saturday allowed police to interrogate the seven at the jail gate. It rejected the police prayer for their remand.
Earlier on Friday evening, at least 35 people were injured as activists of left-leaning organisations and student bodies clashed with police during a protest at Dhaka University over the death of writer Mushtaq Ahmed in Kashimpur jail.
A group of activists under the banner of 'People of Bangladesh' staged a Khatia Michhil (Cot Procession) in the university area to protest the sad demise of the writer and against the Digital Security Act.
Meanwhile, the Gazipur district administration has formed a two-member probe body to investigate the death of writer Mushtaq and asked it to submit its report within two working days.
"The investigation committee will check whether there was any negligence in Mushtaq's treatment," Gazipur Deputy Commissioner SM Tarikul Islam said on Friday.
"Writer Mushtaq fell conscious in a toilet on Thursday night and later was taken to Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmad Medical College Hospital where doctors pronounced him dead."
Besides, the Ministry of Home Affairs has formed a five-member probe committee to investigate the death of the writer.
"The committee will see whether there was any negligence on the part of the prison authorities," read a notification issued by the security service division of the ministry.
It also asked the committee to find out whether the prison authorities were aware of any physical complications of the writer after his arrival in jail,whether they provided him with treatment accordingly and also to submit report within four working days.
RAB arrested cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore and writer Mushtaq Ahmed from Kakrail and Lalmatia respectively on 5 May last year under the Digital Security Act.
According to the lawmen, the arrestees gave anti-government posts on Facebook to tarnish the image or reputation of the state or to spread confusion among people in the country.
Sources said the bail applications of Mushtaq and Kishore were rejected six times.
A sit-in at Press Club
The Student, Youth and Workers' Rights Council held a sit-in at the National Press Club on Saturday morning.
Nagorik Oikya Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna, Bangladesh Labour Party Chairman Mostafizur Rahman Iran, Nationalist Democratic Movement Chairman Bobby Hajjaj, National Democratic Front president KM Abu Taher, Dhaka University teacher Nure Alam Bepari, Abu Musa Arif Billah and former diplomat Sakib Ali expressed solidarity with the programme.
In his speech, Mahmudur Rahman Manna said, "Everyone calls this government the government of mafias, but we call it the father of mafias."
Former Ducsu VP Nurul Haque Nur said the government should immediately repeal the black law called the Digital Security Act, release the arrestees and bring the killers to justice for the murder of journalist Muzakkir in Noakhali.
TIB demands revocation of Digital Security Act
Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has demanded that the government repeal the Digital Security Act immediately.
In a press statement issued in protest at the custodial death of writer Mushtaq Ahmed, the Bangladesh unit of the Berlin-based anti-graft watchdog claimed the Digital Security Act is a powerful tool to suppress dissent in the hands of so-called influential groups.
The organisation also urged the government to hold all the departments and individuals responsible for the tragic incident of Mushtaq accountable.