A 5-year-old girl in India was hospitalized after she was allegedly raped by a 35-year-old man, media reported Monday.

The incident took place in the eastern state of Odisha on Sunday. The accused, identified as Mahesh Mohanty, had criminal antecedents and was recently released from jail, The New Indian Express reported.

Sources told local media Mohanty, who was the victim's family's acquaintance, used to visit the area as he was constructing a house near the girl's residence. On Sunday, when he found the minor girl playing alone, he lured her to the rooftop of her house where he sexually assaulted her. The victim's mother then reached the rooftop after hearing her daughter's screams, following which the accused fled the scene, Times Now reported.

Family members informed the police about the incident and rushed the girl to a local hospital. She was later moved to another hospital for further treatment. Doctors said the child was brought in a critical condition and was fighting for life.

A rape case has been registered against the accused under sections 376 of the Indian Penal Code and six other charges of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).

The police have launched a manhunt for the accused, local media reported. A senior police official assured the locals he would soon be arrested.

Despite strict laws, India has seen an increasing number of rape cases in the last few years. In many of the cases, the accused are known to the victims.

In November last year, an 8-year-old girl was allegedly gangraped and killed by four men inside a factory. Details about the crime came to light after the four accused people – identified as Jayban (21), Mukesh Singh (20), Muneem Singh (20) and Manish Tirki (33) – were taken into custody. The four accused had gathered together to drink, and then hatched a plan to rape the girl.

In another case in Uttar Pradesh, a man raped a 9-year-old neighbor during a dinner gathering. The suspect had arrived at the victim's home with his wife and son. He then took the girl away from her family while people were present inside the home.

The brutal 2012 gang rape of a Delhi student galvanised protests against rampant sex crimes in India
The brutal 2012 gang rape of a Delhi student galvanised protests against rampant sex crimes in India AFP / Noah SEELAM