It was the new year of 1989. The Jana Natya Manch (JANAM) was performing a play, Halla Bol, in support of Ramanand Jha, CPI[M] candidate for the post of councilor in Ghaziabad. The play began at around 11am near Ambedkar Park before an eager crowd. Minutes into the play, Mukesh Sharma, the Congress opponent ot Jha made an unscripted entry into the scene. He demanded that the play be stopped and he and his entourage be allowed to pass through. The director of the play, Safdar Hashmi informed Sharma to either wait or take an alternative route as the play was already in progress.