Born in 1959 at Gotaibari village of Jamuguri area in Sonitpur district of Assam into a well-to-do family, Chetry passed his High School Leaving Certificate Examination in 1977 from Panchmail High Madrassa near Tezpur and completed a two-year Pre-University Course (Commerce) at Darrang College, Tezpur. However, due to heavy river-bank erosion caused by Jiabharali river, one of the major tributaries of the mighty Brahmaputra, his village went underwater. His family was uprooted from the area and he was forced to discontinue studies. The family then shifted to Balijuri area in Sonitpur district. He joined as a teacher in a private school at Balijuri and left later to actively associate himself with the peasant movement in his locality. He led a number of struggles demanding cover against the rampage of wild elephants and also demanding land rights for the people. In 1983, he joined the All India Kisan Sabha and in the following year the CPI (M). In the year 1992 he led a delegation to the Assam Assembly and faced the wrath of the local MLA of Sootea Assembly constituency as well as the brutal attack by the police. Due to acute financial hardship, Khemraj Chetry had to join as a worker in a jute mill for six months. In the year 2002, Chetry led the heroic anti-eviction movement in Sonitpur district and later became the Secretary of the District Unit of the AIKS. Khemraj Chetry was elected as the Secretary of the Assam State Committee of the AIKS in the year 2005 and continues in the post. He is also a member of the Secretariat of the State Committee of the Party.