TOBA TEK SINGH (Agencies) - Eight alleged dacoits were killed and four villagers received severe bullet injuries in an armed encounter with the locals who were supported by the police the other day. Police sources said 16 dacoits, after looting the house of Abdus Sattar in Jhakra village of Toba Tek Singh, stormed into the house of Allah Ditta. However, during the dacoity bid, the family put up resistance and made noise, drawing the attention of neighbourers. Resultantly, the locals and dacoits exchanged fire. Later, the police joined villagers. The encounter continued for about three hours. Talking to the newsmen, DPO Toba Tek Singh Rana Ahmed Hassan said some eight dacoits were killed in the gunfight while their eight other accomplices managed to flee. He stated that efforts were underway to trace out those who fled from the scene. All the bodies have been shifted to a hospital for autopsy, he added, stating that the robbers were identified as Ghulam Abbas, Qaiser Abbas, Nasir and others. They were the residents of District Jhang. The injured include - Manzooran Bibi, Allah Ditta, Nadeem Shahbaz and Prof Asad Mehmood. They have been hospitalised and stated to be in critical condition, DPO said. Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and police said the villagers killed the alleged robbers in self-defence. According to relatives of alleged robbers, they were not robbers and going for their work when they were targeted by the villagers. They said they were slaughtered with knives, axes and other instruments but police did not take any action. PML-Q MPA Qamar Hayat Kathia said the slain men were innocent and their killing was preplanned, adding that three of them were taxi drivers. He further said three of the eight were killed in the presence of the police but they took no action against the villagers. Provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said it was clear that the slain men were robbers and entered houses with the aim of robbery but the villagers killed them in self-defence. Qamar Hayat Kathia and relatives of the slain robbers demanded of the government and concerned authorities to investigate the matter and took strict action against the villagers and police. Our Monitoring Desk adds: An FIR was registered against the SHO of the local police station, who was present at the scene of the encounter, reports a private TV channel. Chief Minster Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif has ordered judicial inquiry into the incident. The DPO said the dacoits belonged to the Jhang District. Police have registered a case and initiated investigation into the incident.