BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has said the government has been promulgating anti-people laws, including the Digital Security Act, to cling to power.
He also alleged that the death of writer Mushtaq Ahmed was a state-sponsored murder.
"This government cannot be allowed to stay in power. This illegitimate government must be ousted through movement and struggle," Mirza Fakhrul told a rally organised by Juba Dal on Thursday to protest the deaths of writer and journalist Mushtaq Ahmed and Noakhali journalist Borhan Uddin Muzakkir.
The BNP secretary general said Mushtaq Ahmed had been arrested under the Digital Security Act and was unjustly detained and killed in jail.
He said, "About 7,00 people have been arrested under the Digital Security Act. All, from seven-year-old girls to housewives, have been arrested only for drawing cartoons or writing and criticising the government. Journalists have suffered the most."
Demanding the release of those arrested under the Act, Mirza Fakhrul said, "We are demanding immediate release of all the student leaders and activists who were arrested in a police raid in a rally on the 28th of this month."
He also demanded that the government withdraw the false cases filed against 35 lakh leaders and activists of the BNP and establish a people's government by resigning immediately and holding elections through a neutral election commission under a neutral government.
BNP standing committee member Mirza Abbas said, "This government does not know how to show respect to anyone, so this government should not get any respect. This government is not a government formed by people's votes so we do not accept this government."
He said the government will be swept away by the waves of people's movement. "No dictatorial government could survive in the past."
The rally was presided over by Juba Dal Central President Saiful Alam Nirab and was attended, among others, by BNP chairperson's Adviser Amanullah Aman, Publicity Secretary Shahiduddin Chowdhury Annie, Juba Dal General Secretary Sultan Salauddin Tuku.
Police were on high alert from the start of the rally.
Islami Juba Andolon demands abolition of DSA
The central committee Islami Juba Andolon on Thursday formed a human chain in front of the National Press Club demanding the abolition of the Digital Security Act.
The organisation's Central President Maulana Muhammad Nesar Uddin said, "It will not be allowed to silence the people of the country in the name of the Digital Security Act."
He also noted that through various laws including the Digital Security Act, the government has turned Bangladesh into an authoritarian state instead of a welfare state.
Islami Juba Andolon Secretary General Atiqur Rahman Mujahid said through the use of the Digital Security Act, attempts are being made to keep mum those who want to express their thoughtful comments in mainstream and social media.