A shopkeeper allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl before his wife helped murder the victim and stash her body.

The 45-year-old grocer is wanted by cops after the child was assaulted and strangled to death in Madhya Pradesh, India.

Local reports suggest that the shop owner is reported to have "lured" the girl into his home before subjecting her to a sickening assault.

A spokesman for Dhanwad police, Hina Dabar, told Times of India that on Monday morning the 13-year-old had gone to buy biscuits.

She was pressured to go into a house and then raped, he said.

When she fought back, the husband - along with his wife - brutally beat and strangled her to death.

India protest
It is the latest in a series of high-profile sickening sexual attacks on women and girls in India

Dabar said they then tried to stash her body in a bag, and drag it out onto a terrace.

According to local reports, the grocer was allegedly seen carrying the body by a neighbour, who told the child’s family.

They confronted the grocer - who denied having seen the girl.

But they pushed their way into his home and found her sweater and slippers, Dabar told local journalists.

As a search party scoured the home and terrace looking for the victim, the two suspects fled the scene.

India protest
Protesters have called for more to be done over sex crimes in India

A manhunt is now underway to locate the wife, as the husband was tracked down and arrested within hours.

Villagers accused the grocer of having a history of sexual assault, the Times of India reported.

Police said they where told he had abused a young girl eight years ago, with the child later killing her self.

The victim's body has been taken for a post-mortem.

If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 0845 30 30 900 or visit their website, www.victimsupport.org.uk.