EARLIER this week a teenage girl took to social media to report allegations she had suffered horrific physical and sexual abuse.

The woman in her late teens claimed she had been beaten, burned, drugged and trafficked for sex throughout the north of England by a gang of Asian men.

She posted graphic pictures of injuries including bruises, scratches and burn marks.

Her post caused an outpouring of anger on social media and was widely shared.

The Mithali takeaway, along with three others, was then targeted on social media after its bosses said it had been wrongly linked to the allegations.

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The owners of Mithali, Dhaba restaurant in Dalton Road and Barrow Indian Cuisine in Cavendish Street issued a joint statement condemning the alleged incident and calling for justice for the victim.

Takeaway boss Fahsin Ahmed said he had received death threats and said ‘this has destroyed so many people’s lives’.

Cumbria police then took the unusual step to release a video statement in a bid to calm tension in the community.

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Detective Chief Superintendent Dean Holden said police had conducted a year-long investigation alongside the National Crime Agency and claimed they had found ‘no evidence’ of Asian sex grooming gangs in Barrow.

Det Chief Insp Holden added the conclusion of this resource heavy operation was also upheld in following an independent peer review.

A woman was then arrested and charged with seven counts of perverting the course of justice and has appeared at South Cumbria Magistrates Court.

She has been remanded in custody.

Tensions remain high in the town and supporters of the alleged victim have been encouraging a street protest against the police’s handling of the case.