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The Pashupatinath Temple shooting
Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: Police constable - "Suddenly lost his balance of mind"
Number of victims: 14
Date of murders: July 23, 1982
Date of birth: 1955
Victims profile: Men and women
Method of murder: Shooting (Lee-Enfield rifle)
Location: Mandsaur, Malwa region, Madhya Pradesh state, India
Status: Shot and killed by police the same day

The Pashupatinath Temple shooting was a mass murder that occurred at the Pashupatinath Temple and its surrounding area in Mandsaur, India on July 23, 1983. 28-year-old police constable Ramesh Sharma (रमेश शर्मा) killed 14 people and wounded 9 others, before he was shot and killed by police.


At about 7:30 p.m. on July 23, Ramesh Sharma, who was assigned to guard duty at the Pashupatinath temple that day, entered a tea shop adjacent to the temple, armed with a Lee-Enfield and his pockets bulging with cartridges. He aimed his rifle at the shop owner's nephew, Pradeep, and asked him "Should I shoot you?", before killing him.

Sharma next shot at Rakesh Jain, owner of an idol shop at the temple, hitting him in the shoulder. While Jain stumbled into the nearby Hanuman temple, Motia Bai, owner of another shop in the area, started shouting at Sharma in rage. Sharma shot dead both Motia and her son Hari, before turning his attention again towards Rakesh Jain. After taking off his shoes he entered the temple and shot Jain at point-blank range through his abdomen. Sharma afterward put back on his shoes and left.

Outside he was approached by another policeman posted at the temple that evening, Kanhaiyalal Dube, who wanted to calm him down, but before Dube could say a word, Sharma shot him dead. The gunman then entered the Pashupatinath temple where an aarti, attended by about 60 people, had just begun. Sharma fired a few shots at the pilgrims, wounding several of them, before shouting to halt the aarti, though the priest, Ramachandra Shukla, apparently unaware of what was going on, raised his hand to silence him. Sharma killed the priest by shooting him in his arm and head.

At around 7:45 p.m. Sharma left the temple area and headed towards the town, where he killed another seven people in the streets. Police by then was already notified, but it took them another 40 minutes to stop the gunman. At about 8:20 p.m. Sharma was engaged by policeman Mewa Lai. He fired a shot at the officer, that missed its target, but killed a 18-year-old woman named Sakina. Mewa Lai then returned fire and killed Sharma with a shot in the chest.

Within 50 minutes Sharma had fired 34 rounds, killing 14 people and injuring nine others, one cartridge remained in the chamber of his rifle, while another 35 were found in his pockets.



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