In a horrific incident in India, a 10-year-old girl was raped by a 68-year-old man, who lured her to a secluded spot by offering her chocolates and money.

The police said the accused also threatened to harm her if she revealed the incident to anyone. The girl was near her home in a slum in the western state of Maharashtra when the crime took place, the Indian Express quoted the police as saying.

Local media reports said the girl lived in the area with her parents, who are laborers. It is believed the suspect, identified as Sawan Dolas, was a resident of a different locality, and the girl's family did not know him.

The accused reportedly lured the girl to the secluded spot behind a commercial building, where he allegedly stripped her, sexually abused her and raped her. 

After assaulting the girl, the accused left the scene. The girl was later spotted by her uncle who was in the area. When her parents asked her what she was doing in the secluded spot, she told them about her ordeal, following which they filed a police complaint. 

“After the case was registered, we placed the suspect under arrest around 10 pm on Monday. He will be produced in the court today," a police officer, who was probing the case, told the media Tuesday.

The suspect has been charged with several counts of Indian Penal Code pertaining to rape and criminal intimidation, and provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The police said that an investigation is underway.

Crime against women in India has been increasing despite several laws. India recorded 88 rape cases every day in 2019, according to a National Crime Records Bureau report released last year. 

Last week, a 15-year-old girl was raped by three men and the act was recorded on camera. Authorities said the incident took place in the city of Ghaziabad in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. One of the accused befriended the victim a few months ago and then on March 11, he raped the girl along with his uncle. They then recorded the act and threatened the girl to leak it if she reported the case. A few days later, they contacted the girl again saying they would delete the video if she visited them. When the girl went to meet one of the accused, the accused along with two others raped her again. 

A demonstrator holds a placard next to others during a protest against an alleged gang rape of a woman, in Karachi, Pakistan on September 18, 2020 A demonstrator holds a placard next to others during a protest against an alleged gang rape of a woman, in Karachi, Pakistan on September 18, 2020 Photo: AFP / Asif HASSAN