Voters/ Assembly Elections Manipur
Voters stand in a queue outside a polling station at Ukhrul, Manipur. Reuters/Stringer

At least seven people have killed in poll violence amidst an election in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur.

The Press Trust of India reported that while 82 percent of eligible voters turned out to cast their vote in local Assembly elections, the exercise of democracy was marred by the violence of separatist militants.

Deputy election commissioner Alok Shukla said that a militant, pretending to be a voter, walked into a polling station in the Chandel district and began shooting firing indiscriminately.

The shooter, who has not been identified, was himself shot to death by local policemen.

Manipur is one of five states in India which will hold elections over the next few weeks.

Moreover, bombs that are believed to have been planted by militants in several locales around Manipur were seized and defused by police prior to voting. There were also reports of mobs attacking polling stations and destroying electronic voting machines.

The bombings and violence are believed to be the work of The National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), a separatist group which seeks an independent nation.

Manipur is in the extreme eastern end of India, bordering Burma. The state is riddled with militant and separatist groups demanding independence from India, a country they view as a foreign colonial power.

Although Manipur has only 2.7million people, there are at least thirty separatist groups within its borders.

Formed in 1980, NSCN seeks to create a Maoist state for the Naga people, a tribe that lives in both northeastern India and western Burma.